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A few years ago the subject-matter of the present 
volume might have been condensed into a few pages. 
Beyond what we would gather from the Old Testa- 
ment, we knew but little about the history and geo- 
graphy of Canaan before the age of its conquest by 
the Israelites. Thanks, however, to the discovery and 
decipherment of the ancient monuments of Babylonia 
and Assyria, of Egypt and of Palestine, all this is 
now changed. A flood of light has been poured upon 
the earlier history of the country and its inhabitants, 
and though we are still only at the beginning of our 
discoveries we can already sketch the outlines of 
Canaanitish history, and even fill them in here and 

Throughout I have assumed that in the narrative of 
the Pentateuch we have history and not fiction. Indeed 
the archaeologist cannot do otherwise. Monumental 
research is making it clearer every day that the scep- 
ticism of the so-called "higher criticism " is not justi- 
fied in fact. Those who would examine the proofs of 
this must turn to my book on The Higher Criticism 
and the Verdict of the Monuments. There I have 
written purely as an archaeologist, who belongs to no 
theological school, and consequently readers of the 
work must see in it merely the irreducible minimum of 
confidence in the historical trustworthiness of the Old 
Testament with which Oriental archaeology can be 


satisfied. But it is obvious that this irreducible 
minimum is a good deal less than what a fair-minded 
historian will admit. The archaeological facts support 
the traditional rather than the so-called "critical" 
view of the age and authority of the Pentateuch, and 
tend to show that we have in it not only a historical 
monument whose statements can be trusted, but also 
what is substantially a work of the great Hebrew 
legislator himself. 

For those who "profess and call themselves Chris- 
tians," however, there is another side to the question 
besides the archaeological. The modern "critical" 
views in regard to the Pentateuch are in violent con- 
tradiction to the teaching and belief of the Jewish 
Church in the time of our Lord, and this teaching and 
belief has been accepted by Christ and His Apostles, 
and inherited by the Christian Church. It is a teach- 
ing and belief which lies at the root of many of the 
dogmas of the Church, and if we are to reject or 
revise it, we must at the same time reject and revise 
historical Christianity. It is difficult to see how we 
can call ourselves Christians in the sense which the 
term has borne for the last eighteen hundred years, 
and at the same time repudiate or modify, in accord- 
ance with our individual fancies, the articles of faith 
which historical Christianity has maintained every- 
where and at all periods. For those who look beyond 
the covers of grammars and lexicons, the great prac- 
tical fact of historical Christianity must outweigh all 
the speculations of individual scholars, however in- 
genious and elaborate they may be. It is for the 
individual to harmonize his conclusions with the 
immemorial doctrine of the Church, not for the 
Church to reconcile its teaching with the theories of 


the individual. Christ promised that the Spirit of 
God should guide His Apostles and their followers 
into "all truth," and those who believe the promise 
cannot also believe that the "Spirit of Truth" has 
been at any time a Spirit of illusion. 

Oriental archaeology, at all events is on the side of 
those who see in the Hebrew patriarchs real men of 
flesh and blood, and who hold that in the narratives 
of the Pentateuch we have historical records many of 
which go back to the age of the events they describe. 
Archaeological discoveries have been crowding upon 
us, of late years, thick and fast, many of them revolu- 
tionary, and without exception they have been on the 
side of tradition and against the conclusions of the 
modern critic. The advocates of subjective criticism 
would do well to ponder this fact. 



Dynasties XV., XVI., and XVII.— Hyksos or Shepherd-kings (from 

Dynasty XV. 


i. Salatis 

2. Beon, or Bnon 

3. Apakhnas, or Pakhnan 

4. Apdphis I. . 

5. Yanias or Annas 

6. Assis . 
Of the Sixteenth Dynasty nothing is know n. Of the Seventeenth the monuments 

have given us the names of Apdphis II. (Aa-user-Ra) and Apophis III. 
(Aa-ab-taui-Ra), in whose reign the war ot independence began under the 
native prince of Thebes, and lasted for four generations. 

Dynasty XVIII.— 


1. Neb-pehuti-Ra, Alimes (more than 20 years). 

2. Ser-ka-Ra, Amon-hotep L, his son (20 years 7 

months. ) 

3. Aa kheper-ka-Ra, Thothmes I., his son, and queen 


4. Aa-kheper-n-Ra, Thothmes II., his son, and wife 

Hatshepsu I. (more than 9 years). 

5. Khnum-Amon, Hatshepsu II., Ma-ka-Ra his sister 

(more than 16 years). 

6. Ra-men-Kheper, Thothmes III., her brother (54 

years, 11 months, 1 day, from March 20, B.C. 1503 
to Feb. 14, B.C. 1449). 

7. Aa-khepru-Ra, Amon-hotep II., his son (more than 

S years). 

8. Men-khepru-Ra, Thothmes IV, his son (more than 7 


9. Neb-ma-Ra, Amon-hotep III., his son (more than 35 

years), and queen Teie. 
10. Nefer-khepru-Ra, Amon-hotep IV. , Khu-n-Aten (also 

called Khuriya), his son (more than 17 years). 
n. Ankh-khepru-Ra and queen Meri Aten. 

12. Tut-ankh-Amon Khepru-neb-Ra, and queen Ankh- 


13. Aten- Ra-nefer-nefru-mer- Aten. 

14. Ai kheper-khepru-ar-ma-Ra, and queen Thi (more 

than 4 years). 

15. Hor-m-hib Mi-Amon Ser-khepru-ka (more than 3 



Amenophis I. 






Amenophis II. 





Sethos Ramesses. 

Dynasty XIX.— 
i. Men-pehuti-R;i, Ramessu I. (more than 2 years). 

2. Men-ma-Ra, Scti I., Mer-n-Ptah 1. (more than 27 

years), his son. 

3. User-ma-Ra, Sotep-n-Ra, Ramessus II., Mi-Amon 

(B.C. 1348 — 1281), his son. 

4. Mer-n-Ptah II., Hotep-hi-ma Ba-n-Ra, Mi-Amon, 

his son. 

5. User-khepru-Ra, Seti II., Mcr-n-Ptah III., his 


6. Amon-mesu Hik-An Mer-Kha-Ra Sotep-n-Ra, Amenemes. 


7. Khu-n-Ra Sotep-n-Ra, Mer-n-Ptah IV., Si-Ptah Thuoris. 

(more than 6 years), and queen Ta-user. 

Dynasty XX.— 

1. Set-nekt, Merer-Mi-Amon (recovered the kingdom from the Phoenician 


2. Ramessu III., Hik-An, his son (more than 32 years). 

3. Ramessu IV., Hik-Ma Mi-Amon (more than 11 years). 

4. Ramessu V., User-Ma-s-Kheper-Ra Mi-Amon (more than 4 years). 

5. Ramessu VI., Neb-Ma-Ra Mi-Amon Amon-hir-khopesh-f (Ramessu Meii- 

Tum, a rival king in Northern Egypt). 

6. Ramessu VII., At-Amon User-ma-Ra Mi-Amon. 

7. Ramessu VIII., Set-hir-khopesh-f Mi-Amon User-ma-Ra Khu-n-Amon. 

8. Ramessu IX., Si-Ptah S-kha-n-Ra Mi-Amon (19 years). 

9. Ramessu X., Nefer-ka-Ra Mi-Amon Sotep-n-Ra (more than 10 years). 
10. Ramessu XI., Amon-hir-khopesh-f Kheper-ma-Ra Sotep-n-Ra. 

n. Ramessu XII., Men-ma-Ra Mi-Amon Sotep-n-Ptah Kba-m-Uas (more 
than 27 years). 

Dynasty I. of Babylon — 

1. Samu-abi 14 years, B.C 2225. 

2. Sumu-la-ilu, his son, 36 years. 

3. Zabu, his son, 14 years. 

4. Abil-Sin, his son, 18 years. 

5. Sin-muballidh, his son, 20 ye.irs. 

6. Khammu-rabi, his son, 43 years 

(at first under the sovereignty 
of Chedorlaomer, the Elamite ; 
by the conquest of Eri-Aku and 
the Ela mites he unites Baby- 
lonia, B.C. 2092). 

7. Samsu-iluna, his son, 38 years. 

8. Ebisum, or Abi-shua, his son, 28 


9. Ammi-ditana, his son, 37 years. 

10. Ammi-zaduga, his son, 21 years. 

11. Samsu-ditana, his son, 31 years. 
Dynasty II. of Uru-azagga (partly 

contemporary with Dynasty I.). 

1. Anman, 51 (or 60) years. 

2. Ki-nigas, 55 years. 

3. Damki-ili-su, 46 years. 

4. Iskipal, 15 years. 

5. Sussi, his brother, 27 years. 

6. Gul-kisar, 55 years. 

7. Kirgal-daramas, his son, 50 


8. A-dara-kalama, his son, 28 years. 

9. A-kur-du-ana, 26 years. 

10. Melamma-kurkura, 6 years. 

11. Bel-ga[mil ?], 9 years. 
Dynasty III., of the Kassites, B.C. 


1. Gandis, or Gaddas, 16 years. 

2. Agum-Sipak, his son, 22 years. 

3. Guya-Sipak, his son 22 years. 

4. Ussi, his son, 8 years. 

5. Adu-medas, ... years. 

6. Tazzi-gurumas, ... years, 

7. Agum-kak-rimi, his son, 


14. Kallimma-sin.i 

The following order of succession is taken from Dr. Hilprecht,. 


1 1 

It Kudur-Bel. 

16. Sagarakti-buryas, his son. 

17. Kuii-galzu I. 

18. Kara-indas. 

19. Burna-buryas, his nephew, B.C. 


20. Kara-Khardas, sonofKaraindas. 

21. Nazi-bugas, or Su-zigas, an 


22. Kuri-galzu II., son of Burna- 

buryas, 2 ... years. 

23. Nazi-Maruttas, his son, 26 years. 

24. Kadasman-Turgu, his son, 17 


25. Kadasman-Burias, his son, 2 


26. Kudur-Ellil, 6 years. 

27. Saga-rakti-suryas, 13 years. 

28. Kastilias, his son, 8 years. 

29. Bel-nadin-sumi, 1 year 6 months. 

30. Kadasman-Kharbe, 1 year 6 


31. Rimmon-nadin-sunii, 6 years. 

32. Rimmon-sum-utsur, 30 years (in- 

cluding 7 years of occupation 
of Babylon by the Assyrian 
king, Tiglath-Ninip). 

33. Meli-Sipak, 15 years. 

34. Merodach-baladan I., his son, 13 


35. Zamama-nadin-sunii I., 1 year. 

36. Bel-sum iddin, 3 years. 



















Patriarchal Palestine ! There are some who 
would tell us that the very name is a misnomer. 
Have we not been assured by the German critics and 
their English disciples that there were no patriarchs 
and no Patriarchal Age ? And yet, the critics 
notwithstanding, the Patriarchal Age has actually 
existed. While criticism, so-called, has been busy 
in demolishing the records of the Pentateuch, archae- 
ology, by the spade of the excavator and the patient 
skill of the decipherer, has been equally busy in 
restoring their credit. And the monuments of the 
past are a more solid argument than the guesses and 
prepossessions of the modern theorist. The clay 
tablet and inscribed stone are better witnesses to the 
truth than literary tact or critical scepticism. That 
Moses and his contemporaries could neither read nor 
write may have been proved to demonstration by the 
critic ; yet nevertheless we now know, thanks to archae- 
ological discovery, that it would have been a miracle 
if the critic were right. The Pentateuch is, after all, 
what it professes to be, and the records it contains 
are history and not romance. 


The question of its authenticity involves issues more 
serious and important than those which have to do 
merely with history or archaeology. We are some- 
times told indeed, in all honesty of purpose, that it is 
a question of purely literary interest, without influence 
on our theological faith. But the whole fabric of the 
Jewish Church in the time of our Lord was based upon 
the belief that the Law of Moses came from God, and 
that this God "is not a man that He should lie." 
And the belief of the Jewish Church was handed on 
to the Christian Church along with all its con- 
sequences. To revise that belief is to revise the 
dogmas of the Christian Church as they have been 
held for the last eighteen centuries ; to reject it utterly 
is to reject the primary document of the faith into 
which we have been baptized. 

It is not, however, with theological matters that 
we are now concerned. Patriarchal Palestine is for 
us the Palestine of the Patriarchal Age, as it has been 
disclosed by archaeological research, not the Palestine 
in which the revelation of God's will to man was to 
be made. It is sufficient for us that the Patriarchal 
Age has been shown by modern discovery to be a fact, 
and that in the narratives of the Book of Genesis we 
have authentic records of the past. There was indeed 
a Patriarchal Palestine, and the glimpses of it that 
we get in the Old Testament have been illustrated 
and supplemented by the ancient monuments of the 
Oriental world. 

Whether the name of Palestine can be applied to 
the country with strict accuracy at this early period 
is a different question. Palestine is Philistia, the land 
of the Philistines, and the introduction of the name 
was subsequent to the settlement of the Philistines in 


Canaan and the era of their victories over Israel. As 
we shall see later on, it is probable that they did not 
reach the Canaanitish coast until the Patriarchal Age 
was almost, if not entirely, past. Their name does 
not occur in the cuneiform correspondence which was 
carried on between Canaan and Egypt in the century 
before the Exodus, and they are first heard of as 
forming part of that great confederacy of northern 
tribes which attacked Egypt and Canaan in the days 
of Moses. But, though the term Canaan would doubt- 
less be more correct than Palestine, the latter has 
become so purely geographical in meaning that we 
can employ it without reference to history or date. Its 
signification is too familiar to cause mistakes, and it 
can therefore be used proleptically, just as the name 
of the Philistines themselves is used proleptically in 
the twenty-first chapter of Genesis. Abimelech was 
king of a people who inhabited the same part of the 
country as the Philistines in later times, and were 
thus their earlier representatives. 

The term "Palestine," then, is used geographically 
without any reference to its historical origin. It 
denotes the country which is known as Canaan in the 
Old Testament, which was promised to Abraham and 
conquered by his descendants. It is the land in which 
David ruled and in which Christ was born, where the 
prophets prepared the way for the Gospel and the 
Christian Church was founded. 

Shut in between the Desert of Arabia and the 
Mediterranean Sea on the east and west, it is a narrow 
strip of territory, for the most part mountainous, 
rugged, and barren. Northward the Lebanon and 
Anti-Lebanon come to meet it from Syria, the Anti- 
Lebanon culminating in the lofty peaks and precipi- 


tous ravines of Mount Hermon (9383 feet above the 
level of the sea), while Lebanon runs southward till 
it juts out into the sea in its sacred headland of 
Carmel. The fertile plain of Esdraelon of Megiddo 
separates the mountains of the north from those of 
the south. These last form a broken plateau between 
the Jordan and the Dead Sea on the one side and the 
Plain of Sharon and the sea-coast of the Philistines 
on the other, until they finally slope away into the 
arid desert of the south. Here, on the borders of the 
wilderness, was Beersheba, the southern limit of the 
land in the days of the monarchy, Dan, its northern 
limit, lying far away to the north at the foot of 
Hermon, and not far from the sources of the Jordan. 

Granite and gneiss, overlaid with hard dark sand- 
stone and masses of secondary limestone, form, as it 
were, the skeleton of the country. Here and there, at 
Carmel and Gerizim, patches of the tertiary num- 
mulite of Egypt make their appearance, and in the 
plains of Megiddo and the coast, as well as in the 
"Ghor" or valley of the Jordan, there is rich alluvial 
soil. But elsewhere all is barren or nearly so, cultiva- 
tion being possible only by terracing the cliffs, and 
bringing the soil up to them from the plains below 
with slow and painful labour. It has often been said 
that Palestine was more widely cultivated in ancient 
times than it is to-day. But if so, this was only 
because a larger area of the cultivable ground was 
tilled. The plains of the coast, which are now given 
over to malaria and Beduin thieves, were doubtless 
thickly populated and well sown. But of ground 
actually fit for cultivation there could not have been 
a larger amount than there is at present. 

It was not in any way a well-wooded land. On the 


slopes of the Lebanon and of Carmel, it is true, there 
were forests of cedar-trees, a few of which still survive, 
and the Assyrian kings more than once speak of cut- 
ting them down or using them in their buildings at 
Nineveh. But south of the Lebanon forest trees 
were scarce ; the terebinth was so unfamiliar a sight 
in the landscape as to become an object of worship 
or a road-side mark. Even the palm grew only on 
the sea-coast or in the valley of the Jordan, and the 
tamarisk and sycamore were hardly more than shrubs. 

Nevertheless when the Israelites first entered 
Canaan, it was in truth a land "flowing with milk 
and honey." Goats abounded on the hills, and the 
bee of Palestine, though fierce, is still famous for its 
honey-producing powers. The Perizzites or "fel- 
lahin " industriously tilled the fields, and high-walled 
cities stood on the mountain as well as on the plain. 

The highlands, however, were deficient in water. 
A few streams fall into the sea south of Carmel, but 
except in the spring, when they have been swollen 
by the rains, there is but little water in them. The 
Kishon, which irrigates the plain of Megiddo, is a 
more important river, but it, too, is little more than a 
mountain stream. In fact, the Jordan is the only 
river in the true sense of the word which Palestine 
possesses. Rising to the north of the Waters of 
Merom, now called Lake Huleh, it flows first into the 
Lake of Tiberias, and then through a long deep valley 
into the Dead Sea. Here at a depth of 1293 feet below 
the level of the sea it is swallowed up and lost ; the 
sea has no outlet, and parts with its stagnant waters 
through evaporation alone. The evaporation has 
made it intensely salt, and its shores are consequently 
for the most part the picture of death. 


In the valley of the Jordan, on the other hand, 
vegetation is as luxuriant and tropical as in the forests 
of Brazil. Through a dense undergrowth of canes 
and shrubs the river forces its way, rushing forward 
towards its final gulf of extinction with a fall of 670 
feet since it left the Lake of Tiberias. But the dis- 
tance thus travelled by it is long in comparison with 
its earlier fall of 625 feet between Lake Huleh and 
the Sea of Galilee. Here it has cut its way through 
a deep gorge, the cliffs of which rise up almost sheer 
on either side. 

The Jordan has taken its name from its rapid fall. 
The word comes from a root which signifies "to 
descend," and the name itself means "the down-flow- 
ing." We can trace it back to the Egyptian monu- 
ments of the nineteenth and twentieth dynasties. 
Ramses II., the Pharaoh of the Oppression, has 
inscribed it on the walls of Karnak, and Ramses III., 
who must have reigned while the Israelites were still 
in the wilderness, enumerates the "Yordan" at 
Medinet Habu among his conquests in Palestine. 
In both cases it is associated with "the Lake of 
Rethpana," which must accordingly be the Egyptian 
name of the Dead Sea. Rethpana might correspond 
with a Hebrew Reshpon, a derivative from Resheph, 
the god of fire. Canaanite mythology makes the 
sparks his "children " (Job v. 7), and it may be, there- 
fore, that in this old name of the Dead Sea we have 
a reference to the overthrow of the cities of the plain. 

Eastward of the Dead Sea and the Jordan the 
country is again mountainous and bare. Here were 
the territories of Reuben and Gad, and the half-tribe 
of Manasseh ; here also were the kingdoms of Moab 
and Ammon, of Bashan and the Amorites. Here, too, 


was the land of Gilead, south of the Lake of Tiberias 
and north of the Dead Sea. 

We can read the name of Muab or Moab on the 
base of the second of the six colossal statues which 
Ramses II. erected in front of the northern pylon of 
the temple of Luxor. It is there included among his 
conquests. The statue is the only Egyptian monu- 
ment on which the name has hitherto been found. 
But this single mention is sufficient to guarantee its 
antiquity, and to prove that in the days before the 
Exodus it was already well known in Egypt. 

To the north of Moab came the kingdom of 
Ammon, or the children of Ammi. The name of 
Ammon was a derivative from that of the god Ammi 
or Ammo, who seems to have been regarded as the 
ancestor of the nation, and "the father of the children 
of Ammon" was accordingly called Ben-Ammi, "the 
son of Ammi " (Gen. xix. 38). Far away in the north, 
close to the junction of the rivers Euphrates and 
Sajur, and but a few miles to the south of the Hittite 
stronghold of Carchemish, the worship of the same 
god seems to have been known to the Aramaean tribes. 
It was here that Pethor stood, according to the 
Assyrian inscriptions, and it was from Pethor that the 
seer Balaam came to Moab to curse the children of 
Israel. Pethor, we are told, was "by the river 
(Euphrates) of the land of the children of Ammo," 
where the word represents a proper name (Num. xxii. 
5). To translate it "his people," as is done by the 
Authorized Version, makes no sense. On the 
Assyrian monuments Ammon is sometimes spoken of 
as Beth-Ammon, "the house of Ammon," as if 
Ammon had been a living man. 

b 2 


Like Moab, Ammon was a region of limestone 
mountains and barren cliffs. But there were fertile 
fields on the banks of the Jabbok, the sources of which 
rose not far from the capital, Rabbath. 

North of Gilead and the Yarmuk was the volcanic 
plateau of Bashan, Ziri-Basana, or "the Plain of 
Bashan," as it is termed in the cuneiform tablets of 
Tel el-Amarna. Its western slope towards the Lakes 
of Merom and Tiberias was known as Golan (now 
Jolan) ; its eastern plateau of metallic lava was Argob, 
"the story" (now El Lejja). Bashan was included in 
the Hauran, the name of which we first meet with on 
the monuments of the Assyrian king Assur-bani-pal. 
To the north it was bounded by Ituraea, so named 
from Jetur, the son of Ishmael (Gen. xxv. 15), the 
road through Ituraea (the modern Jedur) leading to 
Damascus and its well-watered plain. 

The gardens of Damascus lie 2260 feet above the 
sea. In the summer the air is cooled by the mountain 
breezes; in the winter the snow sometimes lies upon 
the surface of the land. Westward the view is closed 
by the white peaks of Anti-Lebanon and Hermon ; 
eastward the eye wanders over a green plain covered 
with the mounds of old towns and villages, and inter- 
sected by the clear and rapid streams of the Abana 
and Pharphar. But the Abana has now become the 
Barada, or "cold one," while the Pharphar is the 
Nahr el-Awaj. 

The Damascus of to-day stands on the site of the 
city from which St. Paul escaped, and "the street 
which is called Straight " can still be traced by its 
line of Roman columns. But it is doubtful whether 
the Damascus of the New Testament and of to-dav 
is the same as the Damascus of the Old Testament. 


Where the walls of the city have been exposed to 
view, we see that their Greek foundations rest on the 
virgin soil ; no remains of an earlier period lie beneath 
them. It may be, therefore, that the Damascus of 
Ben-Hadad and Hazael is marked rather by one 
of the mounds in the plain than by the modern 
town. In one of these the stone statue of a man, in 
the Assyrian style, was discovered a few years ago. 

An ancient road leads from the peach-orchards of 
Damascus, along the banks of the Abana and over 
Anti-Lebanon, to the ruins of the temple of the Sun- 
god at Baalbek. The temple as we see it is of the age 
of the Antonines, but it occupies the place of one 
which stood in Heliopolis, the city of the Sun-god, 
from immemorial antiquity. Relics of an older epoch 
still exist in the blocks of stone of colossal size which 
serve as the foundation of the western wall. Their 
bevelling reminds us of Phoenician work. 

Baalbek was the sacred city of the Bek'a, or "cleft" 
formed between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon by the 
gorge through which the river Litany rushes down 
to the sea. Once and once only is it referred to in 
the Old Testament. Amos (i. 5) declares that the 
Lord "will break the bar of Damascus and cut off the 
inhabitant from Bikath-On "—the Bek'a of On. The 
name of On reminds us that the Heliopolis of Egypt, 
the city of the Egyptian Sun-god, was also called On, 
and the question arises whether the name and worship 
of the On of Syria were not derived from the On of 
Egypt- For nearly two centuries Syria was an 
Egyptian province, and the priests of On in Egypt 
may well have established themselves in the "cleft" 
valley of Ccele-Syria. 

From Baalbek, the city of "Baal of the Bek'a," the 


traveller makes his way across Lebanon, and under 
the snows of Jebel Sannin — nearly 9000 feet in height 
— to the old Phoenician city of Beyrout. Beyrout is 
already mentioned in the cuneiform tablets of Tel-el- 
Amarna under the name of Beruta of Beruna, "the 
cisterns." It was already a seaport of Phoenicia, and 
a halting-place on the high road that ran along the 

The coastland was known to the Greeks and 
Romans as Phoenicia, "the land of the palm." But 
its own inhabitants called it Canaan, "the lowlands." 
It included not only the fringe of cultivated land by 
the sea-shore, but the western slopes of the Lebanon 
as well. Phoenician colonies and outposts had been 
planted inland, far away from the coast, as at Laish, 
the future Dan, where ''the people dwelt careless," 
though "they were far away from the Sidonians," or 
at Zemar (the modern Sumra) and Arka (still called 
by the same name). The territory of the Phoenicians 
stretched southward as far as Dor (now Tanturah), 
where it met the advance guard of the Philistines. 

Such was Palestine, the promised home of Israel. 
It was a land of rugged and picturesque mountains, 
interspersed with a few tracts of fertile country, shut 
in between the sea and the ravine of the Jordan, and 
falling away into the waterless desert of the south. It 
was, too, a land of small extent, hardly more than 
one hundred and sixty miles in length and sixty miles 
in width. And even this amount of territory was 
possessed by the Israelites only during the reigns of 
David and Solomon. The sea-coast with its harbours 
was in the hands of the Phoenicians and the Philis- 
tines, and though the Philistines at one time owned 
an unwilling allegiance to the Jewish king, the 


Phoenicians preserved their independence, and even 
Solomon had to find harbours for his merchantmen, 
not on the coast of his own native kingdom, but in 
the distant Edomite ports of Eloth and Ezion-geber, 
in the Gulf of Aqabah. With the loss of Edom Judah 
ceased to have a foreign trade. 

The Negeb, or desert of the south, was then, what 
it still is, the haunt of robbers and marauders. The 
Beduin of to-day are the Amalekites of Old Testament 
history; and then, as now, they infested the southern 
frontier of Judah, wasting and robbing the fields of 
the husbandman, and allying themselves with every 
invader who came from the south. Saul, indeed, 
punished them, as Romans and Turks have punished 
them since; but the lesson is remembered only for a 
short while : when the strong hand is removed, the 
"sons of the desert" return again like the locusts to 
their prey. 

It is true that the Beduin now range over the loamy 
plains and encamp among the marshes of Lake Huleh, 
where in happier times their presence was unknown. 
But this is the result of a weak and corrupt govern- 
ment, added to the depopulation of the lowlands. 
There are traces even in the Old Testament that in 
periods of anarchy and confusion the Amalekites 
penetrated far into the country in a similar fashion. 
In the Song of Deborah and Barak, Ephraim is said 
to have contended against them', and accordingly 
"Pirathon in the land of Ephraim" is described as 
being "in the mount of the Amalekites" (Judges xii. 
15). In the cuneiform tablets of Tel el-Amarna, too, 
there is frequent mention of the "Plunderers" by 
whom the Beduin, the Shasu of the Egyptian texts, 
must be meant, and who seem to have been generally 


ready at hand to assist a rebellious vassal or take part 
in a civil feud. 

Lebanon the "white" mountain, took its name from 
its cliffs of glistening limestone. In the early days of 
Canaan it was believed to be the habitation of the 
gods, and Phoenician inscriptions exist dedicated to 
Baal-Lebanon, "the Baal of Lebanon." He was the 
special form of the Sun-god whose seat was in the 
mountain-ranges that shut in Phoenicia on the east, 
and whose spirit was supposed to dwell in some 
mysterious way in the mountains themselves. But 
there were certain peaks which lifted themselves up 
prominently to heaven, and in which consequently the 
sanctity of the whole range was as it were concen- 
trated. It was upon their summits that the worshipper 
felt himself peculiarly near the God of heaven, and 
where therefore the altar was built and the sacrifice 
performed. One of these peaks was Hermon, "the 
consecrated," whose name the Greeks changed into 
Harmonia, the wife of Agenor the Phoenician. From 
its top we can see Palestine spread as it were before 
us, and stretching southwards to the mountains of 
Judah. The walls of the temple, which in Greek times 
took the place of the primitive altar, can still be traced 
there, and on its slopes, or perched above its ravines, 
are the ruins of other temples of Baal — at Der el- 
'Ashair, at Rakleh, at Ain Hersha, at Rasheyat 
el-Fukhar— all pointing towards the central sanctuary 
on the summit of the mountain. 

The name of Hermon, "the consecrated," was but 
an epithet, and the mountain had other and more 
special names of its own. The Sidonians, we are told 
(Deut. iii. 9), called it Sirion, and another of its titles 
was Sion (Deut. iv. 48), unless indeed this is a corrupt 


reading for Sirion. Its Amorite name was Shenir 
(Deut. iii. 9), which appears as Saniru in an Assyrian 
inscription, and goes back to the earliest dawn of 
history. When the Babylonians first began to make 
expeditions against the West, long before the birth of 
Abraham, the name of Sanir was already known. It 
was then used to denote the whole of Syria, so that 
its restriction to Mount Hermon alone must have been 
of later date. 

Another holy peak was Carmel, "the fruitful field," 
or perhaps originally "the domain of the god." It 
was in Mount Carmel that the mountain ranges of the 
north ended finally, and the altar on its summit could 
be seen from afar by the Phoenician sailors. Here the 
priests of Baal called in vain upon their god that he 
might send them rain, and here was "the altar of the 
Lord " which Elijah repaired. 

The mountains of the south present no striking peak 
or headland like Hermon and Carmel. Even Tabor 
belongs to the north. Ebal and Gerizim alone, above 
Shechem, stand out among their fellows, and were 
venerated as the abodes of deity from the earliest 
times. The temple-hill at Jerusalem owed its sanctity 
rather to the city within the boundaries of which it 
stood than to its own character. In fact, the neigh- 
bouring height of Zion towered above it. The moun- 
tains of the south were rather highlands than lofty 
chains and isolated peaks. 

But on this very account they played an important 
part in the history of the world. They were not too 
high to be habitable; they were high enough to 
protect their inhabitants against invasion and war. 
"Mount Ephraim," the block of mountainous land of 
which Shechem and Samaria formed the centre, and 


at the southern extremity of which the sacred city of 
Shiloh stood, was the natural nucleus of a kingdom, 
like the southern block of which Hebron and Jerusa- 
lem were similarly the capitals. Here there were 
valleys and uplands in which sufficient food could be 
grown for the needs of the population, while the cities 
with their thick and lofty walls were strongholds diffi- 
cult to approach and still more difficult to capture. 
The climate was bracing, though the winters were 
cold, and it reared a race of hardy warriors and indus- 
trious agriculturists. The want of water was the only 
difficulty ; in most cases the people were dependent 
on rain-water, which they preserved in cisterns cut 
out of the rock. 

This block of southern mountains was the first and 
latest stronghold of Israel. In constituted, in fact, 
the kingdoms of Samaria and Judah. Out of it, at 
Shechem, came the first attempt to found a monarchy 
in Israel, and thus unite the Israelitish tribes; out of 
it also came the second and more successful attempt 
under Saul the Benjamite and David the Jew. The 
Israelites never succeeded in establishing themselves 
on the sea-coast, and their possession of the plain of 
Megiddo and the southern slopes of the Lebanon was 
a source of weakness and not of strength. It led 
eventually to the overthrow of the kingdom of 
Samaria. The northern tribes in Galilee were 
absorbed by the older population, and their country 
became "Galilee of the Gentiles," rather than an 
integral part of Israel. The plain of Megiddo was 
long held by the Canaanites, and up to the last was 
exposed to invasion from the sea-coast. It was, in 
fact, the battle-field of Palestine. The army of the 
invader or the conqueror marched along the edge of 


the sea, not through the rugged paths and dangerous 
defiles of the mountainous interior, and the plain of 
Megiddo was the pass which led them into its midst. 
The possession of the plain cut off the mountaineers 
of the north from their brethren in the south, and 
opened the way into the heart of the mountains them- 

But to possess the plain was also to possess chariots 
and horsemen, and a large and disciplined force. The 
guerilla warfare of the mountaineer was here of no 
avail. Success lay on the side of the more numerous 
legions and the wealthier state, on the side of the 
assailant and not of the assailed. 

Herein lay the advantage of the kingdom of Judah. 
It was a compact state, with no level plain to defend, 
no outlying territories to protect. Its capital stood 
high upon the mountains, strongly fortified by nature 
and difficult of access. While Samaria fell hopelessly 
and easily before the armies of Assyria, Jerusalem 
witnessed the fall of Nineveh itself. 

What was true of the later days of Israelitish history 
was equally true of the age of the patriarchs. The 
strength of Palestine lay in its southern highlands ; 
whoever gained possession of these was master of the 
whole country, and the road lay open before him to 
Sinai and Egypt. But to gain possession of them was 
the difficulty, and campaign after campaign was 
needed before they could be reduced to quiet sub- 
mission. In the time of the eighteenth Egyptian 
dynasty Jerusalem was already the key to Southern 

Geographically, Palestine was thus a country of 
twofold character, and its population was necessarily 
twofold as well. It was a land of mountain and plain, 


of broken highlands and rocky sea-coast. Its people 
were partly mountaineers, active, patriotic, and poor, 
with a tendency to asceticism ; parly a nation of sailors 
and merchants, industrious, wealthy, and luxurious, 
with no sense of country or unity, and accounting 
riches the supreme end of life. On the one hand, it 
gave the world its first lessons in maritime exploration 
and trade ; on the other it has been the religious 
teacher of mankind. 

In both respects its geographical position has aided 
the work of its people. Situated midway between the 
two great empires of the ancient Oriental world, it 
was at once the high road and the meeting-place of 
the civilizations of Egypt and Babylonia. Long 
before Abraham migrated to Canaan it had been 
deeply interpenetrated by Babylonian culture and 
religious ideas, and long before the Exodus it had 
become an Egyptian province. It barred the way to 
Egypt for the invader from Asia; it protected Asia 
from Egyptian assault. The trade of the world passed 
through it and met it in ; the merchants of Egypt and 
Ethiopia could traffic in Palestine with the traders of 
Babylonia and the far East. It was destined by nature 
to be a land of commerce and trade. 

And yet while thus forming a highway from the 
civilization of the Euphrates to that of the Nile, Pales- 
tine was too narrow a strip of country to become itself 
a formidable kingdom. The empire of David scarcely 
lasted for more than a single generation, and was due 
to the weakness at the same time of both Egypt and 
Assyria. With the Arabian desert on the one side 
and the Mediterranean on the other, it was impossible 
for Canaan to develop into a great state. Its rocks 
and mountains might produce a race of hardy warriors 


and energetic thinkers, but they could not create a 
rich and populous community. The Phoenicians on 
the coast were driven towards the sea, and had to seek 
in maritime enterprise the food and wealth which their 
own land refused to grant. Palestine was essentially 
formed to be the appropriator and carrier of the ideas 
and culture of others, not to be itself their origin and 

But when the ideas had once been brought to it they 
were modified and combined, improved and general- 
ized in a way that made them capable of universal 
acceptance. Phoenician art is in no way original ; its 
elements have been drawn partly from Babylonia, 
partly from Egypt; but their combination was the 
work of the Phoenicians, and it was just this com- 
bination which became the heritage of civilized man. 
The religion of Israel came from the wilderness, from 
the heights of Sinai and the palm-grove of Kadesh, 
but it was in Palestine that it took shape and devel- 
oped, until in the fullness of time the Messiah was 
born. Out of Canaan have come the Prophets and 
the Gospel, but the Law which lay behind them was 
brought from elsewhere. 



In the days .of Abraham, Chedor-laomer, king of 
Elam and lord over the kings of Babylonia, marched 
westward with his Babylonian allies, in order to 
punish his rebellious subjects in Canaan. The in- 
vading army entered Palestine from the eastern side 
of the Jordan. Instead of marching along the sea- 
coast, it took the line of the valley of the Jordan. It 
first attacked the plateau of Bashan, and then smote 
"the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim 
in Ham, and the Emim in the plain of Kiriathaim." 
Then it passed into Mount Seir, and subjugated the 
Horites as far as El-Paran "by the wilderness." 
Thence it turned northward again through the oasis 
of En-mishpat or Kadesh-barnea, and after smiting 
the Amalekite Beduin, as well as the Amorites in 
Hazezon-tamar, made its way into the vale of Siddim. 
There the battle took place which ended in the defeat 
of the king of Sodom and his allies, who were carried 
away captive to the north. But at Hobah, "on the 
left hand of Damascus," the invaders were overtaken 
by " Abram the Hebrew," who dwelt with his Amorite 
confederates in the plain of Mamre, and the spoil they 
had seized was recovered from them. 

The narrative gives us a picture of the geography 

and ethnology of Palestine as it was at the beginning 

of the Patriarchal Age. Before that age was over it 

had altered very materially; the old cities for the most 



part still remained, but new races had taken the place 
of the older ones, new kingdoms had arisen, and the 
earlier landmarks had been displaced. The Amalekite 
alone continued what he had always been, the un- 
tamable nomad of the southern desert. 

Rephaim or "Giants " was a general epithet applied 
to the prehistoric population of the country. Og, king 
of Bashan in the time of the Exodus, was "of the 
remnant of the Rephaim" (Deut. iii. u); but so also 
were the Anakim in Hebron, the Emim in Moab, and 
the Zamzummim in Ammon (Deut. ii. [I, 20). Doubt- 
less they represented a tall race in comparison with 
the Hebrews and Arabs of the desert ; and the Israel- 
itish spies described themselves as grasshoppers 
by the side of them (Numb. xiii. 33). It is possible, 
however, that the name was really an ethnic one, 
which had only an accidental similarity in sound 
to the Hebrew word for "giants." At all events, in 
the list of conquered Canaanitish towns which the 
Pharaoh Thothmes III. of Egypt caused to be en- 
graved on the walls of Karnak, the name of Astartu 
or Ashteroth Karnaim is followed by that of 
Anaurepa, in which Mr. Tomkins proposes to see 
On-Repha, "On of the Giant(s)." In the close neigh- 
bourhood in classical days stood Raphon or Raphana, 
Arpha of the Dekapolis, now called Er-Rafeh, and in 
Raphon it is difficult not to discern a reminiscence of 
the Rephaim of Genesis. 

Did these Rephaim belong to the same race as the 
Emim and the Anakim, or were the latter called 
Rephaim or " Giants " merely because they repre- 
sented the tall prehistoric population of Canaan? 
The question can be more easily asked than answered. 
We know from the Book of Genesis that Amorites as 


well as Hittites lived at Hebron, or in its immediate 
vicinity. Abram dwelt in the plain of Mamre along 
with three Amorite chieftains, and Hoham, king of 
Hebron, who fought against Joshua, is accounted 
among the Amorites (Josh x. i). The Anakim may 
therefore have been an Amorite tribe. They held 
themselves to be the descendants of Anak, an ancient 
Canaanite god, whose female counterpart was the 
Phoenician goddess Onka. But, on the other hand, 
the Amorites at Hebron may have been intruders ; we 
know that Hebron was peculiarly a Hittite city, and 
it is at Mamre rather than at Hebron that the Amorite 
confederates of Abram had their home. It is equally 
possible that the Anakim themselves may have been 
the stranger element; we hear nothing about them in 
the days of the Patriarchs, and it is only when the 
Israelites prepare to enter Canaan that they first make 
their appearance upon the stage. 

Og, king of Bashan, however, was an Amorite; of 
this we are assured in the Book of Deuteronomy 
(iii. 8), and it is further said of him that he only 
"remained of the remnant of Rephaim." The expres- 
sion is a noticeable one, as it implies that the older 
population had been for the most part driven out. 
And such, in fact, was the case. At Rabbath, the 
capital of Ammon, the basalt sarcophagus of the last 
king of Bashan was preserved ; but the king and his 
people had alike perished. Ammonites and Israelites 
had taken their place. 

The children of Ammon had taken possession of 
the land once owned by the Zamzummim (Deut. ii. 
20). The latter are called Zuzim in the narrative of 
Genesis, and they are said to have dwelt in Ham. 
But Zuzim and Ham are merely faulty transcriptions 


from a cuneiform text of the Hebrew Zamzummim 
and Ammon, and the same people are meant both in 
Genesis and in Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy also 
the Emim are mentioned, and their geographical 
position defined. They were the predecessors of the 
Moabites, and like the Zamzummim, "a people great 
and many and tall," whom the Moabites expelled 
doubtless at the same time as that at which the Am- 
monites conquered the Zamzummim. The "plain of 
Kiriathaim," or "the two cities," must have lain south 
of the Arnon, where Ar and Kir Haraseth were built. 

South of the Emim, in the rose-red mountains of 
Seir, afterwards occupied by the Edomites, came* the 
Horites, whose name is generally supposed to be 
derived from a Hebrew word signifying "a cave." 
They have therefore been regarded as Troglodytes, or 
cave-dwellers, a savage race of men who possessed 
neither houses nor settled home. But it is quite pos- 
sible to connect the name with another word which 
means "white," and to see in them the representatives 
of a white race. The name of Hor is associated with 
Beth-lehem, and Caleb, of the Edomite tribe of 
Kenaz, is called "the son of Hur " (i Chron. ii. 50, 
iv. 4). There is no reason for believing that cave- 
dwellers ever existed in that part of Palestine. 

The discovery of the site of Kadesh-barnea is due 
in the first instance to Dr. Rowlands, secondly to the 
archaeological skill of Dr. Clay Trumbull. It is still 
known as 'Ain Qadis, "the spring of Qadis," and 
lies hidden within the block of mountains which rise 
in the southern desert about midway between Mount 
Seir and the Mediterranean Sea. The water still 
gushes out of the rock, fresh and clear, and nourishes 
the oasis that surrounds it. It has been marked out 


by nature to be a meeting-place and "sanctuary" of 
the desert tribes. Its central position, its security 
from sudden attack, and its abundant supply of water 
all combined to make it the En-Mishpat or "Spring 
of Judgment," where cases were tried and laws 
enacted. It was here that the Israelites lingered year 
after year during their wanderings in the wilderness, 
and it was from hence that the spies were sent out to 
explore the Promised Land. In those days the moun- 
tains which encircled it were known as "the mountains 
of the Amorites " (Deut. i. 19, 20). In the age of the 
Babylonian invasion, however, the Amorites had not 
advanced so far to the south. They were as yet only 
at Hazezon-tamar, the "palm-grove" on the western 
shore of the Dead Sea, which a later generation called 
En-gedi (2 Chron. xx. 2). En-Mishpat was still in 
the hands of the Amalekites, the lords of "all the 
country " round about. 

The Amalekites had not as yet intermingled with 
the Ishmaelites, and their Beduin blood was still 
pure. They were the Shasu or "Plunderers" of the 
Egyptian inscriptions, sometimes also termed the 
Sitti, the Sute of the cuneiform texts. Like their 
modern descendants, they lived by the plunder of 
their more peaceful neighbours. As was prophesied 
of Ishmael, so could it have been prophesied of the 
Amalekites, that their "hand should be against every 
man, and every man's hand against" them. They 
were the wild offspring of the wilderness, and 
accounted the first-born of mankind (Numb. xxiv. 20). 

From En-Mishpat the Babylonian forces marched 
northward along the western edge of the Dead Sea. 
Leaving Jerusalem on their left, they descended into 
the vale of Siddim, where they found themselves in 


the valley of the Jordan, and consequently in the land 
of the Canaanites. As we are told in the Book of 
Numbers (xiii. 29), while "the Amalekites dwell in the 
land of the south, and the Hittites and the Jebusites 
and Amorites in the mountains, the Canaanites dwell 
by the sea and by the coast of Jordan." 

The word Canaan, as we have seen, meant "the 
lowlands," and appears sometimes in a longer, some- 
times in a shorter form. The shorter form is written 
Khna by the Greeks : in the Tel el-Amarna tablets 
it is Kinakhkhi, while Canaan, the longer form, is 
Kinakhna. It is this longer form which alone appears 
in the hieroglyphic texts. Here we read how Seti I. 
destroyed the Shasu or Amalekites from the eastern 
frontier of Egypt to "the land of Kana'an," and 
captured their fortress of the same name, which Col. 
Conder has identified with Khurbet Kan'an near 
Hebron. It was also the longer form which was pre- 
served among the Israelites as well as among the 
Phoenicians, the original inhabitants of the sea-coast. 
Coins of Laodicea, on the Orontes, bear the inscrip- 
tion, "Laodicea a metropolis in Canaan," and St. 
Augustine states that in his time the Carthaginian 
peasantry of Northern Africa, if questioned as to their 
descent, still answered that they were "Canaanites." 
(Exp. Epist. ad Rom. 13.) 

In course of time the geographical signification of 
the name came to be widely extended beyond its 
original limits. Just as Philistia, the district of the 
Philistines, became the comprehensive Palestine, so 
Canaan, the land of the Canaanites of the coast and 
the valley, came to denote the whole of the country 
between the Jordan^ and the sea. It is already used 
in this sense in the cuneiform correspondence of Tel 
c 2 


el-Amarna. Already in the century before the Exodus 
Kinakhna or Canaan represented pretty nearly all 
that we now mean by "Palestine." It was, in fact, the 
country to the south of "the land of the Amorites; " 
"the land of the Amorites" lay immediately to the 
north of the Waters of Merom. 

In the geographical table in the tenth chapter of 
Genesis Canaan is stated to be the son of Ham and 
the brother of Mizraim or Egypt. The statement 
indicates the age to which the account must go back. 
There was only one period of history in which Canaan 
could be geographically described as a brother of 
Egypt, and that was the period of the eighteenth and 
nineteenth dynasties, when for a while it was a pro- 
vince of the Pharaohs. At no other time was it closely 
connected with the sons of Ham. At an earlier epoch 
its relations had been with Babylonia rather than with 
the valley of the Nile, and with the fall of the nine- 
teenth dynasty the Asiatic empire of Egypt came 
finally to an end. 

The city of Sidon, we are further told, was the first- 
born of Canaan. It claimed to be the oldest of the 
Phoenician cities in the "lowlands" of the coast. It 
had grown out of an assemblage of "fishermen's" 
huts, and Said, the god of the fishermen, continued to 
preside over it to the last. The fishermen became in 
time sailors and merchant-princes, and the fish for 
which they sought was the murex with its precious 
purple dye. Tyre, the city of the "rock," which in 
later days disputed the supremacy over Phoenicia with 
Sidon, was of younger foundation. Herodotus was 
told that the great temple of Baal Melkarth, "the city's 
king," which he saw there, had been built twenty- 
three centuries before his visit. But Sidon was still 


older, older even than Gebal, the sacred city of the 
goddess Baaltis. 

The wider extension of the name of Canaan brought 
with it other geographical relationships besides those 
of the sea-coast. Hittites and Amorites, Jebusites and 
Girgashites, Hivites and the peoples of the southern 
Lebanon, were all settled within the limits of the 
larger Canaan, and were therefore accounted his sons. 
Even Hamath claimed the right to be included in the 
brotherhood. It is said with truth that "afterwards 
were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad." 

Hittites and Amorites were interlocked both in the 
north and in the south. Kadesh, on the Orontes, the 
southern stronghold of the Hittite kingdom of the 
north, was, as the Egyptian records tell us, in the 
land of the Amorites; while in the south Hittites and 
Amorites were mingled together at Hebron, and 
Ezekiel (xvi. 3) declares that Jerusalem had a double 
parentage : its birth was in the land of Canaan, but 
its father was an Amorite and its mother a Hittite. 
Modern research, however, has shown that Hittites 
and Amorites were races widely separated in character 
and origin. About the Hittites we hear a good deal 
both in the hieroglyphic and in the cuneiform inscrip- 
tions. The Khata of the Egyptian texts were the 
most formidable power of Western Asia with whom 
the Egyptians of the eighteenth and nineteenth 
dynasties had to deal. They were tribes of mountain- 
eers from the ranges of the Taurus who had descended 
on the plains of Syria and established themselves there 
in the midst of an Aramaic population. Carchemish 
on the Euphrates became one of their Syrian capitals, 
commanding the high-road of commerce and war from 
east to west. Thothmes III., the conqueror of West- 


ern Asia, boasts of the gifts he received from "the 
land of Khata the greater," so called, it would seem, 
to distinguish it from another and lesser land of Khata 
— that of the Hittites of the south. 

The cuneiform tablets of Tel el-Amarna, in the 
closing days of the eighteenth dynasty, represent the 
Hittites as advancing steadily southward and men- 
acing the Syrian possessions of the Pharaoh. Dis- 
affected Amorites and Canaanites looked to them for 
help, and eventually "the land of the Amorites" to 
the north of Palestine fell into their possession. When 
the first Pharaohs of the nineteenth dynasty attempted 
to recover the Egyptian empire in Asia, they found 
themselves confronted by the most formidable of 
antagonists. Against Kadesh and "the great king of 
the Hittites" the Egyptian forces were driven in vain, 
and after twenty years of warfare Ramses II., the 
Pharaoh of the Oppression, was fain to consent to 
peace. A treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive, 
was drawn up between the two rivals, and Egypt was 
henceforth compelled to treat with the Hittites on 
equal terms. 

The Khatta or Khata of the Assyrian inscriptions 
are already a decaying power. They are broken into 
a number of separate states of kingdoms, of which 
Carchemish is the richest and most important. They 
are, in fact, in retreat towards those mountains of Asia 
Minor from which they had originally issued forth. 
But they still hold their ground in Syria for a long 
while. There were Hittites at Kadesh in the reign of 
David, Hittite kings could lend their services to Israel 
in the age of Elisha (2 Kings vii. 6), and it was not 
till 717 B.C. that Carchemish was captured by Sargon 
of Assyria, and the trade which passed through it 


diverted to Nineveh. But when the Assyrians first 
became acquainted with the coastland of the Mediter- 
ranean, the Hittites were to such an extent the ruling 
race there that they gave their name to the whole dis- 
trict. Like "Palestine," or "Canaan," the term "land 
of the Hittites" came to denote among the Assyrians, 
not only Northern Syria and the Lebanon, but South- 
ern Syria as well. Even Ahab of Israel and Baasha 
the Ammonite are included by Shalmaneser II. among 
its kings. 

This extended use of the name among the Assyrians 
is illustrated by the existence of a Hittite tribe at 
Hebron in the extreme south of Palestine. Various 
attempts have been made to get rid of the latter by 
unbelieving critics, but the statements of Genesis are 
corroborated by Ezekiel's account of the foundation 
of Jerusalem. They are, moreover, in full harmony 
with the monumental records. As we have seen, 
Thothmes III. implies that already in his day there 
was a second and smaller land of the Hittites, and 
the great Babylonian work on astronomy contains 
references to the Hittites which go back to the age 
of Abraham. 

Assyrian and Babylonian texts are not the only 
cuneiform records which make mention of the 
" Khata " or Hittites. Their name is found also on 
the monuments of the kings of Ararat or Armenia 
who reigned in the ninth and eighth centuries before 
our era, and who had borrowed from Nineveh the 
cuneiform system of writing. But the Khata of these 
Vannic or Armenian texts lived considerably to the 
north of the Hittites of the Bible and of the Egyptian 
and Assyrian monuments. The country they in- 
habited lay in eastern Asia Minor in the neighbour- 


hood of the modern Malatiyeh. Here, in fact, was 
their original home. 

Thanks to the Egyptian artists, we are well 
acquainted with the Hittite physical type. It was 
not handsome. The nose was unduly protrusive, 
while the chin and the forehead retreated. The cheeks 
were square, with prominent bones, and the face was 
beardless. In colour the Hittites were yellow-skinned, 
with black hair and eyes. They seem to have worn 
their hair in three long plaits which fell over the back 
like the pigtail of a Chinaman, and they were dis- 
tinguished by the use of boots with upturned toes. 

We might perhaps imagine that the Egyptian 
artists have caricatured their adversaries. But this is 
not the case. Precisely the same profile of face, some- 
times even exaggerated in its ugliness, is represented 
on the Hittite monuments by the native sculptors 
themselves. It is one of the surest proofs we possess 
that these monuments, with their still undeciphered 
inscriptions, are of Hittite origin. They belong to 
the people whom Israelites, Egyptians, Assyrians, 
and Armenians united in calling Hittites. 

In marked contrast to the Hittites stood the Amor- 
ites. They, too, are depicted on the walls of the 
Egyptian temples and tombs. While the Hittite type 
of features is Mongoloid, that of the Amorite is 
European. His nose is straight and somewhat 
pointed, his lips and nostrils thin, his cheek-bones 
high, his mouth firm and regular, his forehead ex- 
pressive of intelligence. He has a fair amount of 
whisker, ending in a pointed beard. At Abu-Simbel 
the skin is painted a pale yellow — the Egyptian 
equivalent for white— his eyes blue, and his beard and 
eyebrows red. At Medinet Habu, his skin, as Prof, 


Petrie expresses it, is "rather pinker than flesh- 
colour," while in a tomb of the eighteenth dynasty 
at Thebes it is painted white, the eyes and hair being 
a light red-brown. 

The Amorite, it is clear, must be classed with the 
fair-skinned, blue-eyed Libyans of the Egyptian 
monuments, whose modern descendants are the 
Kabyles and other Berber tribes of Northern Africa. 
The latter are not only European in type, they claim 
special affinities to the blond, "golden-haired" Kelt. 
And their tall stature agrees well with what the Old 
Testament has to tell us about the Amorites. They, 
too, were classed among the Rephaim or "giants," by 
the side of whom the Israelite invaders were but as 

While the Canaanites inhabited the lowlands, the 
highlands were the seat of the Amorites (Num. 
viii. 29). This, again, is in accordance with their 
European affinities. They flourished best in the 
colder and more bracing climate of the mountains, 
as do the Berber tribes of Northern Africa to-day. 
The blond, blue-eyed race is better adapted to endure 
the cold than the heat. 

Amorite tribes and kingdoms were to be found in 
all parts of Palestine. Southward, as we have seen, 
Kadesh-barnea was in "the mountain of the Amor- 
ites," while Chedor-laomer found them on the western 
shores of the Dead Sea. When Abraham pitched his 
tent in the plain above Hebron, it was in the posses- 
sion of three Amorite chieftains, and at the time of 
the Israelitish conquest, Hebron and Jerusalem, 
Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon were all Amorite (Josh. 
x. 5). Jacob assured Joseph the inheritance of his 
tribe should be in that district of Shechem which the 


patriarch had taken "out of the hand of the Amorite" 
(Gen. xlviii. 22), and on the eastern side of the Jordan 
were the Amorite kingdoms of Og and Sihon. But 
we learn from the Egyptian inscriptions, and more 
especially from the Tel el-Amarna tablets, that the 
chief seat of Amorite power lay immediately to the 
north of Palestine. Here was "the land of the Amor- 
ites," to which frequent reference is made by the 
monuments, among the ranges of Lebanon and Anti- 
Lebanon, from Hamath southward to Hermon. On 
the east it was bounded by the desert, on the west by 
the cities of Phoenicia. 

In early days, long before the age of Abraham, the 
Amorites must already have been the predominant 
population in this part of Syria. When the Baby- 
lonian king, Sargon of Akkad, carried his victorious 
arms to the shores of the Mediterranean, it was against 
"the land of the Amorites" that his campaigns were 
directed. From that time forward this was the name 
under which Syria, and more particularly Canaan, 
was known to the Babylonians. The geographical 
extension of the term was parallel to that of " Hit- 
tites " among the Assyrians, of "Canaan " among the 
Israelites, and of "Palestine" among ourselves. But 
it bears witness to the important part which was 
played by the Amorites in what we must still call the 
prehistoric age of Syria, as well as to the extent of 
the area which they must have occupied. (See 
Appendix I.) 

Of course it does not follow that the whole of this 
area was occupied at one and the same time. Indeed 
we know that the conquest of the northern portion of 
Moab by the Amorite king Sihon took place only a 
short time before the Israelitish invasion, and part 


of the Amorite song of triumph on the occasion has 
been preserved in the Book of Numbers. "There is 
a fire gone out of Heshbon," it said, "a flame from 
the city of Sihon : it hath consumed Ar of Moab, and 
the lords of the high places of Arnon. Woe to thee, 
Moab ! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh : he 
hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, 
into captivity, unto Sihon king of the Amorites." * 
In the south again, the Amorites do not seem to have 
made their way beyond Hazezon-Tamar, while the 
Tel el-Amarna tablets made it probable that neither 
Bashan nor Jerusalem were as yet Amorite at the time 
they were written. It may be that the Amorite con- 
quests in the south were one of the results of the fall 
of the Egyptian empire and the Hittite irruption. 

Between the Hittite and the Amorite the geo- 
graphical table of Genesis interposes the Jebusite, 
and the Book of Numbers similarly states that "the 
Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites dwell in 
the mountains." The Jebusites, however, were merely 
the local tribe which in the early days of the Israel- 
itish occupation of Canaan were in possession of 
Jerusalem, and they were probably Hittite in origin 
as well as race. At any rate there is no trace of them 
in the cuneiform letters of Tel el-Amarna. On the 
contrary, in these Jerusalem is still known only by 
its old name of Uru-salim ; of the name Jebus there 
is not a hint. But the letters show us that Ebed- 
Kheba, the native king of Jerusalem and humble 
vassal of the Pharaoh, was being hard pressed by his 
enemies, and that, in spite of his urgent appeals for 
help, the Egyptians were unable to send any. His 
enemy were the Khabiri or "Confederates," about 
1 Num. xxi. 28, 29. 


whose identification there has been much discussion, 
but who were assisted by the Hittite chief Labai and 
his sons. One by one the towns belonging to the 
territory of Jerusalem fell into the hands of his adver- 
saries, and at last, as we learn from another letter, 
Ebed-Kheba himself, along with his capital, was cap- 
tured by the foe. It was this event, perhaps, which 
made Jerusalem a Jebusite city. If so, we must see 
in the enemies of Ebed-Kheba the Jebusites of the 
Old Testament. 

The Girgashite is named after the Amorite, but who 
he may have been it is hard to say. In the Egyptian 
epic composed by the court-poet Pentaur, to com- 
memorate the heroic deeds of Ramses II. in his 
struggle with the Hittites, mention is twice made of 
"the country of Qarqish." It was one of those which 
had sent contingents to the Hittite army. But it 
seems to have been situated in Northern Syria, if not 
in Asia Minor, so that unless we can suppose that 
some of its inhabitants had followed in the wake of 
the Hittites and settled in Palestine, it is not easy 
to see how they could be included among the sons 
of Canaan. The Hivites, whose name follows that 
of the Girgashites, are simply the "villagers" or 
fellahin as opposed to the townsfolk. They are thus 
synonymous with the Perizzites, who take their place 
in Gen. xv. 20, and whose name has the same signifi- 
cation. But whereas the Perizzites were especially 
the country population of Southern Palestine, the 
Hivites were those of the north. In two passages, 
indeed, the name appears to be used in an ethnic 
sense, once in Gen. xxxvi. 2, where we read that Esau 
married the granddaughter of "Zibeon the Hivite," 
and once in Josh. xi. 3, where reference is made to 


"the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh." 
But a comparison of the first passage with a later part 
of the chapter (vv. 20, 24, 25) proves that "Hivite" 
is a corrupt reading for " Horite," while it is probable 
that in the second passage "Hittite " ought to be read 
for "Hivite." 

The four last sons of Canaan represent cities, and 
not tribes. Arka, called Irqat in the Tel el-Amarna 
tablets, and now known as Tel 'Arqa, was one of the 
inland cities of Phoenicia, in the mountains between 
the Orontes and the sea. Sin, which is mentioned by 
Tiglath-pileser III., was in the same neighbourhood, 
as well as Zemar (now Sumra), which, like Arvad 
(the modern Ruad) is named repeatedly in the Tel 
el-Amarna correspondence. It was at the time an 
important Phoenician fortress, — "perched like a bird 
upon the rock," — and was under the control of the 
governor of Gebal. Arvad was equally important as 
a seaport, and its ships were used for war as well as 
for commerce. As for Hamath (now Hamah), the 
Khamat and Amat of the Assyrian texts, it was 
already a leading city in the days of the eighteenth 
Egyptian dynasty. Thothmes III. includes it among 
his Syrian conquests under the name of Amatu, as 
also does Ramses III. The Hittite inscriptions dis- 
covered there go to show that, like Kadesh on the 
Orontes, it fell at one time into Hittite hands. 

Such, then, was the ethnographical map of Palestine 
in the Patriarchal Age. Canaanites in the lowlands, 
Amorites and Hittites in the highlands contended for 
the mastery. In the desert of the south were the 
Amalekite Beduin, ever ready to raid and murder 
their settled neighbours. The mountains of Seir were 
occupied by the Horites, while prehistodic tribes, who 


probably belonged to the Amorite race, inhabited the 
plateau east of the Jordan. 

This was the Palestine to which Abraham migrated, 
but it was a Palestine which his migration was 
destined eventually to change. Before many genera- 
tions had passed Moab and Ammon, the children of 
his nephew, took the place of the older population of 
the eastern table-land, while Edom settled in Mount 
Seir. A few generations more, and Israel, too, entered 
into its inheritance in Canaan itself. The Amorites 
were extirpated or became tributary, and the valleys 
of the Jordan and Kishon were seized by the invading 
tribes. The cities of the extreme south had already 
become Philistine, and the strangers from Caphtor 
had supplanted in them the Avim of an earlier epoch. 

Meanwhile the waves of foreign conquest had 
spread more than once across the country. Canaan 
had been made subject to Babylonia, and had received 
in exchange for its independence the gift of Baby- 
lonian culture. Next it was Egypt which entered 
upon its career of Asiatic conquest, and Canaan for 
a while was an Egyptian province. But the Egyptian 
dominion in its turn passed away, and Palestine was 
left the prey of other assailants, of the Hittites and 
the Beduin, of the people of Aram Naharaim and the 
northern hordes. Egyptians and Babylonians, Hit- 
tites and Mesopotamians mingled with the earlier 
races of the country and obliterated the older land- 
marks. Before the Patriarchal Age came to an end, 
the ethnographical map of Canaan had undergone 
a profound change. 



It is in the cuneiform records of Babylonia that we 
catch the first glimpse of the early history of Canaan. 
Babylonia was not yet united under a single head. 
From time to time some prince arose whose conquests 
allowed him to claim the imperial title of "king of 
Sumer and Akkad," of Southern and Northern Baby- 
lonia, but the claim was never of long duration, and 
often it signified no more than a supremacy over the 
other rulers of the country. 

It was while Babylonia was thus divided into more 
than one kingdom, that the first Chaldaean empire of 
which we know was formed by the military skill of 
Sargon of Akkad. Sargon was of Semitic origin, but 
his birth seems to have been obscure. His father, 
Itti-Bel, is not given the title of king, and the later 
legends which gathered around his name declared 
that his mother was of low degree, that his father he 
knew not, and that his father's brother lived in the 
mountain-land. Born in secrecy in the city of Azu- 
pirani, "whence the elephants issue forth," he was 
launched by his mother on the waters of the Euphrates 
in an ark of bulrushes daubed with pitch. The river 
carried the child to Akki the irrigator, who had com- 
passion upon it, and brought it up as his own son. 
So Sargon became an agriculturist and gardener like 
his adopted father, till the goddess Istar beheld and 


loved him, and eventually gave him his kingdom and 

Whatever may have been the real history of 
Sargon's rise to power, certain it is that he showed 
himself worthy of it. He built himself a capital, 
which perhaps was Akkad, near Sippara, and there 
founded a library stocked with books on clay and 
well provided with scribes. Works on astronomy 
and terrestrial omens were compiled for it, the first 
of which, in its later form, was translated into Greek 
by Berossos in days long subsequent. But it was 
as a conqueror and the founder of the first Semitic 
empire in Western Asia that posterity chiefly remem- 
bered him. He overthrew his rivals at home, and 
made himself master of Northern Babylonia. Then 
he marched into Elam on the east, and devastated its 
fields. Next he turned his attention to the west. 
Four times did he make his way to "the land of the 
Amorites," until at last it was thoroughly subdued. 
His final campaign occupied three years. The 
countries "of the sea of the setting sun" acknow- 
ledged his dominion, and he united them with his 
former conquests into "a single " empire. On the 
shores of the Mediterranean he erected images of 
himself in token of his victories, and caused the spoil 
of Cyprus "to pass over into the countries of the 
sea." Towards the end of his reign a revolt broke 
out against him in Babylonia, and he was besieged 
in the city of Akkad, but he "issued forth and smote " 
his enemies and utterly destroyed them. Then came 
his last campaign against Northern Mesopotamia, 
from which he returned with abundant prisoners and 

Sargon's son and successor was Naram-Sin, "the 


beloved of the Moon-god," who continued the con- 
quests of his father. His second campaign was 
against the land of Magan, the name under which 
Midian and the Sinaitic peninsula were known to 
the Babylonians. The result of it was the addition 
of Magan to his empire and the captivity of its king. 

The copper mines of Magan, which are noticed 
in an early Babylonian geographical list, made its 
acquisition coveted alike by Babylonians and Egypt- 
ians. We find the Pharaohs of the first dynasty 
already establishing their garrisons and colonies of 
miners in the province of Mafkat, as they called it, 
and slaughtering the Beduin who interfered with 
them. The history of Naram-Sin shows that its 
conquest was equally an object of the Babylonian 
monarchs at the very outset of their history. But 
whereas the road from Egypt to Sinai was short and 
easy, that from Babylonia was long and difficult. 
Before a Babylonian army could march into the 
peninsula it was needful that Syria should be secure 
in the rear. The conquest of Palestine, in fact, was 
necessary before the copper mines of Sinai could fall 
into Babylonian hands. 

The consolidation of Sargon's empire in the west, 
therefore, was needful before the invasion of the 
country of Magan could take place, and the invasion 
accordingly was reserved for Naram-Sin to make. 
The father had prepared the way; the son obtained 
the great prize — the source of the copper that was 
used in the ancient world. 

The fact that the whole of Syria is described in 
the annals of Sargon as "the land of the Amorites," 
implies, not only that the Amorites were the ruling 
population in the country, but also that they must 



have extended far to the south. The "land of the 
Amorites " formed the basis and starting-point for 
the expedition of Naram-Sin into Magan ; it must, 
therefore, have reached to the southern border of 
Palestine, if not even farther. The road trodden by 
his forces would have been the same as that which 
was afterwards traversed by Chedor-laomer, and 
would have led him through Kadesh-barnea. Is it 
possible that the Amorites were already in possession 
of the mountain-block within which Kadesh stood, 
and that this was their extreme limit to the south ? 

There were other names by which Palestine and 
Syria were known to the early Babylonians, besides 
the general title of "the land of the Amorites." One 
of these was Tidanum or Tidnum ; another was Sanir 
or Shenir. There was yet another, the reading of 
which is uncertain, though it may be transcribed 

Mr. Boscawen has pointed out a coincidence that 
is at least worthy of attention. The first Babylonian 
monarch who penetrated into the peninsula of Sinai 
bore a name compounded with that of the Moon-god, 
which thus bears witness to a special veneration for 
that deity. Now the name of Mount Sinai is similarly 
derived from that of the Babylonian Moon-god Sin. 
It was the high place where the god must have been 
adored from early times under his Babylonian name. 
It thus points to Babylonian influence, if not to the 
presence of Babylonians on the spot. Can it have 
been that the mountain whereon the God of Israel 
afterwards revealed Himself to Moses was dedicated 
to the Moon-god of Babylon by Naram-Sin the 
Chaldaean conqueror ? 

If such, indeed, were the case, it would have been 


more than two thousand years before the Israelitish 
exodus. Nabonidos, the last king of the later 
Babylonian empire, who had a fancy for antiquarian 
exploration, tells us that Naram-Sin reigned 3200 
years before his own time, and therefore about 3750 
B.C. The date, startlingly early as it seems to be, 
is indirectly confirmed by other evidence, and Assyri- 
ologists consequently have come to accept it as 
approximately correct. 

How long Syria remained a part of the empire 
of Sargon of Akkad we do not know. But it must 
have been long enough for the elements of Baby- 
lonian culture to be introduced into it. The small 
stone cylinders used by the Babylonians for sealing 
their clay documents thus became known to the 
peoples of the West. More than one has been found 
in Syria and Cyprus which go back to the age of 
Sargon and Naram-Sin, while there are numerous 
others which are more or less barbarous attempts on 
the part of the natives to imitate the Babylonian 
originals. But the imitations prove that with the 
fall of Sargon 's empire the use of seal-cylinders in 
Syria, and consequently of documents for sealing, 
did not disappear. That knowledge of writing, which 
was a characteristic of Babylonian civilization, must 
have been carried with it to the shores of the 

The seal-cylinders were engraved, sometimes with 
figures of men and gods, sometimes with symbols 
only. Very frequently lines of cuneiform writing were 
added, and a common formula gave the name of the 
owner of the seal, along with those of his father and 
of the deity whom he worshipped. One of the seal- 
cylinders found in Cyprus describes the owner as an 
d 2 


adorer of "the god Naram-Sin." It is true that its 
workmanship shows it to belong to a much later date 
than the age of Naram-Sin himself, but the legend 
equally shows that the name of the conqueror of 
Magan was still remembered in the West. Another 
cylinder discovered in the Lebanon mentions "the 
Amorite Elohim," while a third from the same locality 
bears the inscription : "Multal-ili, the son of Ili-isme- 
anni, the worshipper of the god Nin-gis-zida." The 
name of the god signified in the old pre-Semitic 
language of Chaldaea "the lord of the upright horn," 
while it is worth notice that the names of the owner 
and his father are compounded simply with the word 
Hi or el, "god," not with the name of any special 
divinity. Multal-ili means "A counsellor is God," 
Ili-isme-anni, "O my God, hear me! " 

Many centuries have to elapse before the monu- 
ments of Babylonia again throw light on the history 
of Canaan. Somewhere about 2500 B.C., a high-priest 
was ruling in a city of Southern Babylonia, under 
the suzerainty of Dungi, the king of Ur. The high- 
priest's name was Gudea, and his city (now called 
Tel-loh by the Arabs) was known as Lagas. The 
excavations made here by M. de Sarzec have brought 
to light temples and palaces, collections of clay books 
and carved stone statues, which go back to the early 
days of Babylonian history. The larger and better 
part of the monuments belong to Gudea, who seems 
to have spent most of his life in building and restoring 
the sanctuaries of the gods. Diorite statues of the 
prince are now in the Louvre, and inscriptions upon 
them state that the stone out of which they were made 
was brought from the land of Magan. On the lap of 
one of them is a plan of the royal palace, with the 


scale of measurement marked on the edge of a draw- 
ing-board. Prof. Petrie has shown that the unit of 
measurement represented in it is the cubit of the 
pyramid-builders of Egypt. 

The diorite of Sinai was not the only material 
which was imported into Babylonia for the buildings 
of Gudea. Beams of cedar and box were brought 
from Mount Amanus at the head of the Gulf of 
Antioch, blocks of stone were floated down the 
Euphrates from Barsip near Carchemish, gold-dust 
came from Melukhkha, the "salt" desert to the east 
of Egypt which the Old Testament calls Havilah ; 
copper was conveyed from the north of Arabia, 
limestone from the Lebanon ("the mountains of 
Tidanum "), and another kind of stone from Subsalla, 
in the mountains of the Amorite land. Before beams 
of wood and blocks of stone could thus be brought 
from the distant west, it was necessary that trade 
between Babylonia and the countries of the Mediter- 
ranean should have long been organized, that the 
roads throughout western Asia should have been 
good and numerous, and that Babylonian influence 
should have been extended far and wide. The con- 
quests of Sargon and Naram-Sin had borne fruit in 
the commerce that had followed upon them. 

Once more the curtain falls, and Canaan is hidden 
for a while out of our sight. Babylonia has become 
a united kingdom with its capital and centre at 
Babylon. Khammurabi (2 123-2081 B.C.) has suc- 
ceeded in shaking off the suzerainty of Elam, in 
overthrowing his rival Eri-Aku, king of Larsa, and 
his Elamite allies, and in constituting himself sole 
monarch of Babylonia. His family was of Amorite 
origin, like that of Abraham, and probably came from 


the city of Harran. Their names are Amorite, not 
Babylonian, and the Babylonian scribes found a 
difficulty in transcribing them correctly. But once 
in the possession of the Babylonian throne, they 
became thoroughly national, and under Khammurabi 
the literary glories of the court of Sargon of Akkad 
revived once more. 

Ammi-ditana, the great-grandson of Khammurabi, 
calls himself king of "the land of the Amorites." 
Babylonia, therefore, still claimed to be paramount 
in Palestine. Even the name of the king is an indica- 
tion of his connection with the west. Neither of the 
elements of which it is composed belonged to the 
Babylonian language. The first of them, Ammi, was 
explained by the Babylonian philologists as meaning 
"a family," but it really represented the name of a 
god. We find it in the proper names both of Southern 
and of North-western Arabia. The early Minaean 
inscriptions of Southern Arabia contain names like 
Ammi-karib, Ammi-zadiqa, and Ammi-zaduq, the last 
of which is identical with that of Ammi-zaduq, the 
son and successor of Ammi-ditana. The Egyptian 
Sinuhit, who in the time of the twelfth dynasty fled, 
like Moses, for his life from the court of the Pharaoh 
to the neighbourhood of Beyrout, found protection 
there at the hands of the chieftain Ammu-anshi. The 
Ammonites themselves were the "sons of Ammi," 
and in numerous Hebrew names we find that of the 
god. Ammi-el, Ammi-nadab, and Ammi-shaddai are 
mentioned in the Old Testament, the Assyrian inscrip- 
tions tell us of Ammi-nadab, the king of Ammon, 
and it is possible that even the name of Balaam, the 
Aramaean seer, may be compounded with that of the 
god. At all events, the city of Pethor, from which 


he came, was "by the river (Euphrates) of the land 
of the children of Ammo," for such is the literal 
rendering of the Hebrew words. 

Ammi-ditana was not the first of his line whose 
authority had been acknowledged in Palestine. The 
inscription in which he records the fact is but a con- 
firmation of what had been long known to us from the 
Book of Genesis. There we read how Chedor-laomer, 
the king of Elam, with the three vassal princes, Arioch 
of Ellasar, Amraphel of Shinar, and Tid'al of Nations, 
invaded Canaan, and how the kings of the vale of 
Siddim, with its pits of asphalt, became their tribu- 
taries. For thirteen years they remained submissive, 
and then rebelled. Thereupon the Babylonian army 
again marched to the west. Bashan and the eastern 
bank of the Jordan were subjugated, the Horites in 
Mount Seir were smitten, and the invaders then turned 
back through Kadesh-barnea, overthrowing the 
Amalekites and the Amorites on their way. Then 
came the battle in the vale of Siddim, which ended in 
the defeat of the Canaanites, the death of the kings of 
Sodom and Gomorrha, and the capture of abundant 
booty. Among the prisoners was Lot, the nephew 
of Abram, and it was to effect his rescue that the 
patriarch armed his followers and started in pursuit 
of the conquerors. Near Damascus he overtook them, 
and falling upon them by night, recovered the spoil 
of Sodom as well as his "brother's son." 

Arioch is the Eri-Aku of the cuneiform texts. In 
the old language of Chaldea the name signified 
"servant of the Moon-god." The king is well known 
to us from contemporaneous inscriptions. Besides 
the inscribed bricks which have come from the temple 
of the Moon-god which he enlarged, in the city of 


\}r, there are numerous contract tablets that are dated 
in his reign. He tells us that he was the son of 
an Elamite, Kudur-Mabug, son of Simti-silkhak, and 
prince (or "father") of Yamutbal on the borders of 
Elam and Babylonia. But this is not all. He further 
gives Kudur-Mabug the title of "father of the Amorite 
land." What this title exactly means it is difficult to 
say ; one thing, however, is certain, Kudur-Mabug 
must have exercised some kind of power and authority 
in the distant west. 

His name, too, is remarkable. Names compounded 
with Kudur, "a servant," were common in the Elamite 
language, the second element of the name being that 
of a deity, to whose worship the owner of it was 
dedicated. Thus we have Kudur-Lagamar, "the 
servant of the god Lagamar," Kudur-Nakhkhunte, 
"the servant of Nakhkhunte." But Mabug was not 
an Elamite divinity. It was, on the contrary, a 
Mesopotamian deity from whom the town of Mabug 
near Carchemish, called Bambyke by the Greeks, and 
assimilated by the Arabs to their Membij, "a source," 
derived its name. Can it be from this Syrian deity 
that the father of Arioch received his name ? 

The capital of Arioch, or Eri-Aku, was Larsa, the 
city of the Sun-god, now called Senkereh. With 
the help of his Elamite kindred, he extended his 
power from thence over the greater part of Southern 
Babylonia. The old city of Ur, once the seat of the 
dominant dynasty of Chaldaean kings, formed part of 
his dominions; Nipur, now Niffer, fell into his hands, 
like the seaport Eridu on the shores of the Persian 
Gulf, and in one of his inscriptions he celebrates his 
conquest of "the ancient city of Erech." On the 
day of its capture he erected in gratitude a temple 


to his god Ingirisa, "for the preservation of his 

But the god did not protect him for ever. A time 
came when Khammurabi, king of Babylon, rose in 
revolt against the Elamite supremacy, and drove the 
Elamite forces out of the land. Eri-Aku was attacked 
and defeated, and his cities fell into the hands of 
the conqueror. Khammurabi became sole king of 
Babylonia, which from henceforth obeyed but a single 

Are we to see in the Amraphel of Genesis the 
Khammurabi of the cuneiform inscriptions? When 
the first edition of this book was published no definite 
answer could be given to this question. But dis- 
coveries have followed rapidly upon one another in 
Babylonian research, and we now know that the 
Khammurabi of the inscriptions and the Amraphel 
of the Old Testament were one and the same. The 
name Khammurabi was, in fact, nothing more than 
a lame attempt of the Babylonians to pronounce and 
write a foreign name. Like Abraham, Khammurabi 
was of Amorite, or, as we should now say, of West- 
Semitic, descent, and his name is more correctly 
written in the cuneiform texts of both Assyria and 
Babylonia Ammurapi. Ammurapi is clearly the 
Amraphel of Genesis without the final /. How this 
I originated has been explained by Prof. Hommel. 
The last syllable of the name of Khammurabi is often 
written with a cuneiform character which has the 
values of bi and pi as well as pil. In transcribing 
the original cuneiform text the Hebrew translator 
assigned the wrong value to the sign, and wrote pil 
instead of pi or bi. It can be shown that similar 
mistakes have been made in other parts of the Penta- 


teuch, where a wrong phonetic value has been given 
to a cuneiform character in the transcription into 
Hebrew of a proper name. 

Amraphel is called king of Shinar, the Old Testa- 
ment name of Babylonia. Why it should have been 
called Shinar is still a puzzle. On the one side Shinar 
could be phonetically identified with Sumer, the native 
name of Southern Babylonia ; on the other side it is 
the same name as that of the oasis of Singara or Sinjar 
in Mesopotamia. It is also the same name as San- 
khar, the name of a country coupled with that of the 
Hittites in the Tel el-Amarna letters. But we do not 
know where Sankhar exactly was. 

It was not only the Old Testament writers, however, 
to whom Babylonia was known as Shinar. The 
Egyptians of the Mosaic age called it by the same 
name. The great conqueror, Thothmes III, for in- 
stance, tells us how the king of Sangar or Shinar 
sent him, among other things, the lapis-lazuli of 
Babylon, which the vanity of the Egyptian scribes 
made them regard in the light of tribute. To both 
Egyptians and Hebrews the king of Babylon was 
king also of Shinar. 

Hence it is that the narrative of Chedor-laomer's 
campaign begins with the words that it took place 
"in the time of Amraphel, king of Shinar." The 
narrative has been derived from a Babylonian docu- 
ment, as is shown by the fact that, although the actual 
leader of the expedition was the Elamite sovereign, 
it is dated in the reign of his vassal, the Babylonian 
king. The years were dated in Babylonia by the 
chief event or events that had occurred in them ; but 
the events were necessarily those which concerned the 
native king and his subjects only. A war carried on 


by a foreign conqueror, to which the king of Babylon 
had been unwillingly dragged by his suzerain lord, 
would naturally not be recorded, and hence no refer- 
ence to the Canaanite campaign is to be found in the 
official annals or "year-dates" of Khammurabi's 
reign. We shall have to look for a record of it in 
the annals of Elam. This, too, will explain the state- 
ment that the campaign took place "in the time of 
Amraphel," and not in a particular year of the king's 

Lagamar or Lagamer, written Laomer in Hebrew, 
was one of the principal deities of Elam, and the 
Babylonians made him a son of their own water-god 
Ea. The Elamite king Chedor-laomer, or Kudur- 
Lagamar, as his name was written in his own 
language, must have been related to the Elamite 
prince Kudur-Mabug, whose son Arioch was a 
subject-ally of the Elamite monarch. Possibly they 
were brothers, the younger brother receiving as his 
share of power the title of "father" — not "king" — 
of Yamutbal and the land of the Amorites. At any 
rate, it is a son of Kudur-Mabug and not of the 
Elamite sovereign who receives a principality in 

In the Book of Genesis Arioch is called "king of 
Ellasar." But Ellasar is clearly the Larsa of the 
cuneiform inscriptions, perhaps with the word a/, 
"city," prefixed. Larsa, the modern Senkereh, was 
in Southern Babylonia, on the eastern bank of the 
Euphrates, not far from Erech, and to the north of 
Ur. Its king was virtually lord of Sumer, but he 
claimed to be lord also of the north. In his inscrip- 
tions Eri-Aku assumes the imperial title of "king of 
Sumer and Akkad," of both divisions of Babylonia, 


and it may be that at one time the rival king of 
Babylon acknowledged his supremacy. 

Who "Tidal king of Nations" was has been 
explained by the progress of cuneiform discovery. 
Some years ago Dr. Pinches found a series of tablets 
which described, under a late and poetical form, the 
conquest of Babylon and the profanation of its temple 
by Kudur-laghghamar, the Elamite king. Among the 
subject princes who followed in the train of the con- 
queror were Eri-Aku, or Arioch, and Tudghula, the 
leader of the Northern "hordes." Tudghula is an 
exact reproduction in cuneiform characters of the 
Hebrew Tid'al, written Tidal in the Authorized Ver- 
sion ; what is more, it is also a Hittite name, and was 
borne in later days by one of the last kings of the 
Hittite empire, who calls himself Tudkhalia. In the 
Northern "hordes" we may, therefore, see the Hit- 
tites. References to the "king of the Hittites" and 
his actions are met with in the great astronomical 
work which was compiled in the time of Khammurabi ; 
and a few years later, in the reign of Khammurabi 's 
great-grandson, Babylonia was invaded by the Hit- 
tites, an event which seems to have led to the downfall 
of the Khammurabi dynasty. At the time of the 
capture of Babylon by the Elamites Khammurabi was 
still a boy; it was not until his thirty-first year that 
he made himself independent and shook off the 
Elamite supremacy. Dr. Kugler, on astronomical 
grounds, has fixed the reign of Khammurabi as 
extending from 2123 B.C. to 2081 B.C., so that his 
thirty-first year would be 2092 B.C. 

The name, even, of one of the Canaanite kings who 
were subdued by the Babylonian army has found its 
confirmation in a cuneiform inscription. This is the 


name of "Shinab, king of Adman." We hear from 
Tiglath-pileser III. of Sanibu, king- of Amnion, and 
Sanibu and Shinab are one and the same. The old 
name of the king of Admah was thus perpetuated on 
the eastern side of the Jordan. 

The asphalt of Siddim was coveted by the Baby- 
lonian kings. Bitumen was one of the necessaries of 
life in Babylonia, and appears to have been a state 
monopoly. It was used in place of mortar, as well 
as for heating and lighting purposes. The bitumen 
springs east of the Tigris and on the western bank 
of the Euphrates were jealously guarded by the 
Babylonian Government, and no opportunity was 
neglected of securing fresh sources of supply. Hence 
the rebellion of the Canaanite princes by cutting off 
the supply of bitumen from the neighbourhood of 
the Dead Sea was a serious matter which needed 
exemplary punishment. Hence, too, the rise of Jeru- 
salem, which, though at a distance from the military 
high-road, was on the bitumen route from the Dead 
Sea, which its strong position enabled it to command 
and defend. The name of Jerusalem, which is written 
in cuneiform Uru-Salim, "the city of the god Salim," 
is an indication of its Babylonian foundation. 

When Abram returned with the captives and spoil 
of Sodom, the new king came forth to meet him "at 
the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale." This 
was in the near neighbourhood of Jerusalem, as we 
gather from the history of Absalom (2 Sam. xviii. 18). 
Accordingly we further read that at the same time 
" Melchizedek, king of Salem," and "priest of the 
most High God," "brought forth bread and wine," 
and blessed the Hebrew conqueror, who thereupon 
gave him tithes of all the spoil. 


It is only since the discovery and decipherment 
of the cuneiform tablets of Tel el-Amarna that the 
story of Melchizedek has been illustrated and ex- 
plained. Hitherto it had seemed to stand alone. The 
critics, in the superiority of their knowledge, had 
refused to credit it, and had denied that the name 
even of Jerusalem or Salem was known before the 
age of David. But the monuments have come to our 
help, and have shown that it is the critics and not the 
Biblical writer who have been in error. 

Several of the most interesting of the Tel el-Amarna 
letters were written to the Pharaoh Amenophis IV. 
Khu-n-Aten by Ebed-Kheba, the king of Jerusalem. 
Not only is the name of Uru-salim or Jerusalem the 
only one in use, the city itself is already one of 
the most important fortresses of Canaan. It was the 
capital of a large district which extended southwards 
as far as Keilah and Karmel of Judah. The posses- 
sion of Jerusalem was eagerly coveted by the enemies 
of Ebed-Kheba, whom he calls also the enemies of 
the Egyptian king. 

Now Ebed-Kheba declares time after time that he 
is not an Egyptian governor, but a tributary ally 
and vassal of the Pharaoh, and that he had received 
his royal power, not by inheritance from his father 
or mother, but through the arm of "the Mighty 
King." Who this "Mighty King" may have been 
it is difficult to say. Prof. Hommel sees in him the 
king of the Hittites; most Assyriologists believe that 
the Egyptian Pharaoh is meant, though elsewhere the 
latter is called "the Great King" and not "the 
Mighty King." In any case we have in the phrase 
the prototype of Isaiah's "Mighty God." 

Here, then, as late as the fifteenth century before 


our era we have a king of Jerusalem who does not owe 
his dignity to descent. He is, in fact, a viceregent 
as well as a king. His throne has not descended to 
him by inheritance; so far as his kingly office is 
concerned, he is like Melchizedek, without father 
and without mother. Between Ebed-Kheba and 
Melchizedek there is more than analogy; there is a 
striking and unexpected resemblance. The descrip- 
tion given of himself by Ebed-Kheba explains much 
that has puzzled us so long in the person of 

The origin of the name of Jerusalem also is now 
cleared up. It was no invention of the age of David; 
on the contrary, it goes back to the period of Baby- 
lonian intercourse with Canaan. It is written in the 
cuneiform documents Uru-Salim, "the city of Salim," 
the god of salvation. One of the lexical tablets from 
the library of Nineveh has long ago informed us that 
in one of the languages known to the Babylonians 
uru was the equivalent of the Babylonian alu, "a city," 
and we now know that this language was that of 
Canaan. It would even seem that the word had 
orginally been brought from Babylonia itself in the 
days when Babylonian writing and culture first 
penetrated to the west. In the Sumerian or pre- 
Semitic language of Chalda?a eri signified a "city," 
and eri in the pronunciation of the Semites became 
uru. Hence it was that Uru or Ur, the birthplace 
of Abraham, received its name at a time when it was 
the ruling city of Babylonia, and though the Semitic 
Babylonians themselves never adopted the word in 
common life it made its way to Canaan. The rise 
of the "city" in the west was part of that Babylonian 
civilization which was carried to the shores of the 


Mediterranean, and so the word which denoted it 
was borrowed from the old language of Chaldaea, like 
the word for "palace," hekdl, the Sumerian e-gal, or 
"Great House." It is noteworthy that Harran, the 
resting-place of Abraham on his way from Ur to 
Palestine, the half-way house, as it were, between East 
and West, also derived its name from a Sumerian 
word which signified "the high-road." Harran and 
Ur were two of the gifts which passed to Canaan from 
the speakers of the primaeval language of Chaldaea. 

We can now understand why Melchizedek should 
have been called the "king of Salem." His capital 
could be described either as Jeru-salem or as the 
city of Salem. And that it was often referred to as 
Salem simply is shown by the Egyptian monuments. 
One of the cities of Southern Palestine, the capture 
of which is represented by Ramses II. on the walls 
of the Ramesseum at Thebes, is Shalam or Salem, 
and "the district of Salem " is mentioned between 
"the country of Hadashah " (Josh. xv. 37) and "the 
district of the Dead Sea" and "the Jordan," in the 
list of the places which Ramses III. at Medinet Habu 
describes himself as having conquered in the same 
part of the world. 

It may be that Isaiah is playing upon the old name 
of Jerusalem when he gives the Messiah the title of 
"Prince of Shalom" or "Peace." But in any case 
the fact that Salim was the patron deity of Jerusalem, 
lends a special significance to Melchizedek's treatment 
of Abram. The patriarch had returned from an ex- 
pedition in which he had overthrown the invaders of 
Canaan ; he had brought salvation to the country of 
the priest-king, and had driven away its enemies. 
The offering of bread and wine on the part of Mel- 


cliizedek was a sign of freedom from the enemy and 
of gratitude to the deliverer, while the tithes paid to 
Abram were equally a token that the land was again 
at peace. The name of Salim, the god of salvation, 
was under one form or another widely spread in the 
Semitic world. Salamanu, or Solomon, was the king 
of Moab in the time of Tiglath-pileser III.; the name 
of Shalmaneser of Assyria is written Sulman-asarid, 
"the god Sulman is chief," in the cuneiform inscrip- 
tions ; and one of the Tel el-Amarna letters was sent 
by Ebed-Sullim, "the servant of Sullim," who was 
governor of Hazor. In one of the Assyrian cities 
(Dimmen-Silim, "the foundation-stone of peace") 
worship was paid to the god "Sulman the fish." Nor 
must we forget that "Salma was the father of Beth- 
lehem" (1 Chron. ii. 51). 

In the time of the Israelitish conquest the king of 
Jerusalem was Adoni-zedek (Josh. x. 1). The name 
is similar to that of Melchi-zedek, though the exact 
interpretation of it is a matter of doubt. It points, 
however, to a special use of the word sedek, "right- 
eousness," and it is therefore interesting to find the 
word actually employed in one of the letters of Ebed- 
Kheba. He there says of the Pharaoh: "Behold, 
the king is righteous (zaduq) towards me." What 
makes the occurrence of the word the more striking 
is that it was utterly unknown to the Babylonians. 
The root zadaq, "to be righteous," did not exist in 
the Assyrian language. 

There is yet another point in the history of the 
meeting between Abram and Melchizedek which must 
not be passed over. When the patriarch returned 
after smiting the invading army he was met outside 
Jerusalem not only by Melchizedek, but also by the 


new king of Sodom. It was, therefore, in the moun- 
tains and in the shadow of the sanctuary of the Most 
High God that the newly-appointed prince was to be 
found, rather than in the vale of Siddim. Does not 
this show that the king of Jerusalem already exercised 
that sovereignty over the surrounding district that 
Ebed-Kheba did in the century before the Exodus? 
As we have seen, Jerusalem commanded the trade- 
route of the bitumen, and one of the duties which 
Ebed-Kheba tells us devolved upon him was that of 
looking after the safety of the caravans. It would 
seem, then, that the priest-king of the great fortress 
in the mountains was already acknowledged as the 
dominant Canaanitish ruler, and that the neighbour- 
ing princes had to pay him homage when they first 
received the crown. 

Long after the defeat of Chedor-laomer and his 
allies, if we are to accept the traditional belief, 
Abraham was again destined to visit Jerusalem. But 
he had .ceased to be " Abram the Hebrew," the con- 
federate of the Amorite chieftains in the plain of 
Mamre, and had become Abraham the father Of the 
promised seed. Isaac had been born to him, and he 
was called upon to sacrifice his first-born son. 

The place of sacrifice was upon one of the moun- 
tains in the land of Moriah. There at the last moment 
the hand of the father was stayed, and a ram was 
substituted for the human victim. "And Abraham 
called the name of that place Yahveh-yireh ; as it is 
said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be 
seen." According to the Hebrew text of the Chroni- 
cles (2 Chron. iii. 1), this mount of the Lord where 
Abraham's sacrifice was offered was the temple-mount 
at Jerusalem. The proverb quoted in Genesis seems 


to indicate the same fact. Moreover, the distance of 
the mountain from Beer-sheba — three days' journey 
— would be also the distance of Jerusalem from 
Abraham's starting-place. 

It is even possible that in the name of Yahveh- 
yireh we have a play upon the first element in the 
name of Jeru-salem. The word uru, "city," became 
yeru or yiru in Hebrew pronunciation, and between 
this and yireh the difference is not great. Yahveh- 
yireh, "the Lord sees," might also be interpreted "the 
Lord of Yeru." 

The temple-hill was emphatically "the mount of 
the Lord." In Ezekiel (xliii. 15) the altar that stood 
upon it is called Har-el, "the mountain of God." The 
term reminds us of Babylonia, where the mercy-seat 
of the great temple of Bel-Merodach at Babylon was 
termed Du-azagga, "the holy hill." It was on this 
"seat of the oracles," as it was termed, that the god 
enthroned himself at the beginning of each year, and 
announced his will to mankind. But the mercy-seat 
was entitled "the holy hill" only because it was a 
miniature copy of "the holy hill" upon which the 
whole temple was erected. So, too, at Jerusalem, the 
altar is called "the mount of God" by Ezekiel only 
because it represents that greater "mount of God" 
upon which it was built. The temple-hill itself was 
the primitive Har-el. 

The list of conquered localities in Palestine recorded 
by Thothmes III. at Karnak gives indirect testimony 
to the same fact. The name of Rabbah of Judah is 
immediately preceded in it by that of Har-el, "the 
mount of God." The position of this Har-el leads 
us to the very mountain tract in the midst of which 
Jerusalem stood. We now know that Jerusalem was 


already an important city in the age of the eighteenth 
Egyptian dynasty, and that it formed one of the 
Egyptian conquests; it would be strange therefore if 
no notice had been taken of it by the compiler of 
the list. May we not see, then, in the Har-el of the 
Egyptian scribe the sacred mountain of Israelitish 
history ? 

There is a passage in one of the letters of Ebed- 
Kheba which may throw further light on the history 
of the temple-hill. Here the king of Jerusalem says 
that "just now the city of the mountain of Jerusalem, 
the city of the temple of the god Nin-ip is its name, 
the city of the king (of Egypt), has revolted to the 
men of Keilah." Nin-ip was a Babylonian god, the 
precise pronunciation of whose name is still doubtful, 
so that what he may have been called in the language 
of Canaan is unknown. But the important thing to 
notice is that it was a temple-city which stood on 
"the mountain of Jerusalem" — not "land of Jeru- 
salem," as it has been sometimes, but erroneously, 
translated — and we may, therefore, identify it with 
the temple-mount of later days and the site of the 
ancient temple of Salim. The words of Ebed-Kheba 
imply that it was separate from Jerusalem itself, 
though standing on the same mountain-group as the 
great fortress. Hence we might identify Jerusalem 
with the city on Mount Zion, the Jebusite strong- 
hold of a later date, while "the city of Beth-Nin-ip " 
would be that which centred round the temple on 

However this may be, the fortress and the temple- 
hill were distinct from one another in the days of 
the Jebusites, and we may therefore assume that they 
were also distinct in the age of Abraham. This might 


explain why it was that the mountain of Moriah on 
the summit of which the patriarch offered his sacrifice 
was not enclosed within the walls of Jerusalem, and 
was not covered with buildings. It was a spot, on 
the contrary, where sheep could feed, and a ram be 
caught by its horns in the thick brushwood. 

In entering Canaan, Abraham would have found 
himself still surrounded by all the signs of a familiar 
civilization. The long-continued influence and 
government of Babylonia had carried to "the land 
of the Amorites " all the elements of Chaldean 
culture. Migration from Ur of the Chaldees to 
the distant west meant a change only in climate 
and population, not in the civilization to which the 
patriarch had been accustomed. 

Even the Babylonian language was known and 
used in the cities of Canaan, and the literature of 
Babylonia was studied by the Canaanitish people. 
This is one of the facts which we have learnt from 
the discovery of the Tel el-Amarna tablets. The 
cuneiform system of writing and the Babylonian 
language had spread all over western Asia, and 
nowhere had they taken deeper root than in Canaan. 
Here there were schools and teachers for instruction 
in the foreign language and script, and record- 
chambers and libraries in which the letters and books 
of clay could be copied and preserved. 

Long before the discovery of the Tel el-Amarna 
tablets we might have gathered from the Old Testa- 
ment itself that such libraries once existed in Canaan. 
One of the Canaanitish cities taken and destroyed by 
the Israelites was Debir in the mountainous part of 
Judah. But Debir, "the sanctuary," was also known 
by two other names. It was called Kirjath-Sannah, 


"the city of Instruction," as well as Kirjath-Sepher, 
"the city of Books." 

We now know, however, that the latter name is not 
quite correct. The Massoretic punctuation has to be 
emended, and we must read Kirjath-Sopher, "the city 
of the Scribe(s)," instead of Kirjath-Sepher, "the 
city of Book(s)." It is an Egyptian papyrus which 
has given us the exact name. In the time of 
Ramses II. an Egyptian scribe composed a sarcastic 
account of the misadventures met with by a tourist 
in Palestine — commonly known as The Travels of a 
Mohar — and in this mention is made of two adjoining 
towns in Southern Palestine called Kirjath-Anab and 
Befh-Sopher. In the Book of Joshua the towns of 
A nab and Kirjath-Sepher are similarly associated 
together, and it is plain, therefore, as Dr. W. Max 
Miiller has remarked, that the Egyptian writer has 
interchanged the equivalent terms Kirjath, "city," 
and Beth, "house." He ought to have written Beth- 
Anab and Kirjath-Sopher. But he has given us the 
true form of the latter name, and as he has added to 
the word Sopher the determinative of "writing," he 
has further put beyond question the real meaning 
of the name. The city must have been one of those 
centres of Canaanitish learning where, as in the 
libraries of Babylonia and Assyria, a large body of 
scribes was kept constantly at work. 

The language employed in the cuneiform documents 
was almost always that of Babylonia, which had 
become the common speech of diplomacy and educated 
society. But at times the native language of the 
country was also employed, and one or two examples 
of it have been preserved. The legends and traditions 
of Babylonia served as text-books for the student, and 


doubtless Babylonian history was carried to the west 
as well. The account of Chedor-laomer's campaign 
might have been derived in this way from the clay- 
books of ancient Babylonia. 

Babylonian theology, too, made its way to the west, 
and has left records of itself in the map of Canaan. 
In the names of Canaanitish towns and villages the 
names of Babylonian deities frequently recur. Rim- 
mon or Hadad, the god of the air, whom the Syrians 
identified with the Sun-god, Nebo, the god of pro- 
phecy, the interpreter of the will of Bel-Merodach, 
Anu, the god of the sky, and Anat, his consort, all 
alike meet us in the names sometimes of places, some- 
times of persons. Mr. Tomkins is probably right in 
seeing even in Beth-lehem the name of the primaeval 
Chaldasan deity Lakhmu. The Canaanitish Moloch is 
the Babylonian Malik, the Dagon was one of the 
oldest of Chaldasan divinities and the associate of 
Anu. We have seen how ready Ebed-Kheba was to 
identify the god he worshipped with the Babylonian 
Nin-ip, and among the Canaanites mentioned in the 
letters of Tel el-Amarna there is more than one whose 
name is compounded with that of a Babylonian god. 

Writing and literature, religion and mythology, 
history and science, all these were brought to the 
peoples of Canaan in the train of Babylonian con- 
quest and trade. Art naturally went hand in hand 
with this imported culture. The seal-cylinders of the 
Chaldaeans were imitated, and Babylonian figures and 
ornamental designs were borrowed and modified by 
the Canaanitish artists. It was in this way that the 
rosette, the cherub, the sacred tree, and the palmette 
passed to the west, and there served to adorn the 
metal-work and pottery. New designs, unknown in 


Babylonia, began to develop ; among others, the heads 
of animals in gold and silver as covers for metal vases. 
Some of these "vases of Kaft," as they were called, 
are pictured on the Egyptian monuments, and 
Thothmes III. in his annals describes "the paterae 
with goats' heads upon them and one with a lion's 
head, the productions of Zahi," or Palestine, which 
were brought to him as tribute. 

The spoil which the same Pharaoh carried away 
from the Canaanitish princes gives us some idea of 
the art which they patronized. We hear of chariots 
and tent-poles covered with plates of gold, of iron 
armour and helmets, of gold and silver rings which 
were used in the place of money, of staves of ivory, 
ebony, and cedar inlaid with gold, of golden sceptres, 
of tables, chairs, and footstools of cedar wood, inlaid 
some of them with ivory, others with gold and pre- 
cious stones, of vases and bowls of all kinds in gold, 
silver, and bronze, and of the two-handled cups which 
were a special manufacture of Phoenicia. Iron seems 
to have been worked in Canaan from an early date. 
The Israelites were unable to drive out the inhabitants 
of "the valley " because of their chariots of iron, and 
when the chariot of the Egyptian Mohar is disabled 
by the rough roads of the Canaanite mountains the 
writer of the papyrus already referred to makes him 
turn aside at once to a worker in iron. There was 
no difficulty in finding an ironsmith in Canaan. 

The purple dye of Phoenicia had been famous from 
a remote antiquity. It was one of the chief objects 
of the trade which was carried on by the Canaanites 
with Egypt on the one side and Babylonia on the 
other. It was doubtless in exchange for the purple 
that the "goodly Babylonish garment" of which we 


are told in the Book of Joshua (vii. 21) made its way 
to the city of Jericho, for Babylonia was as celebrated 
for its embroidered robes as Canaan was for its purple 

We hear something about the trade of Canaan in 
the cuneiform tablets of Tel el-Amarna. The king of 
Alasiya (or Elishah), for instance, asks the Egyptian 
king to prevent the custom-house officer annoying his 
merchants and ships on their arrival in Egypt, and 
elsewhere we hear of the trading caravans which 
traversed Western Asia under the protection of the 
Egyptian and Babylonian Governments. On one 
occasion the Babylonian king made a formal com- 
plaint to the Egyptian Government about an attack 
on certain Babylonian commercial travellers who were 
robbed and wounded while passing through Canaan, 
which was at the time an Egyptian province, and an 
indemnity was demanded for the losses they had 

Babylonia and the civilized lands of the East were 
not the only countries with which Canaanitish trade 
was carried on. Negro slaves were imported from the 
Soudan, copper and lead from Cyprus, and horses 
from Asia Minor, while the excavations of Mr. Bliss 
at Lachish have brought to light beads of Baltic amber 
mixed with the scarabs of the eighteenth Egyptian 

A large part of the trade of Phoenicia was carried 
on in ships. It was in this way that the logs of cedar 
were brought from the forests at the head of the 
Gulf of Antioch, and the purple murex from the coasts 
of the ^gean. Tyre, whose wealth is already cele- 
brated in one of the Tel el-Amarna tablets, was built 
upon an island, and, as an Egyptian papyrus tells us, 


water had to be conveyed to it in boats. So, too, was 
Arvad, whose navy occupies an important place in the 
Tel el-Amarna correspondence. The ships of Canaan 
were, in fact, famous from an early date. Two classes 
of vessel known to the Egyptians were called "ships 
of Gebal " and "ships of Kaft," or Krete, and Ebed- 
Kheba asserts that "he had set a ship upon the sea 
when the arm of the Mighty King conquered the 
forces of Naharaim (Nahrima) and Kapasi." Balaam's 
prophecy — "Ships shall come from Chittim and shall 
afflict Asshur and shall afflict Eber," takes us back to 
the same age. 

The Aram-Naharaim of Scripture is the Nahrina 
of the hieroglyphic texts, the Mitanni of the native 
inscriptions. The capital city Mitanni stood on the 
eastern bank of the Euphrates, at no great distance 
from Carchemish, but the Naharaim, or "Two 
Rivers," more probably mean the Euphrates and 
Orontes than the Euphrates and Tigris. In one 
of the Tel el-Amarna tablets the country is called 
Nahrima, but its usual name is Mitanni or Mitanna. 
It was the first independent kingdom of any size or 
power on the frontiers of the Egyptian empire in the 
age of the eighteenth dynasty, and the Pharaohs 
Thothmes IV., Amenophis III., and Amenophis IV. 
successively married into its royal family. 

The language of Mitanni has been revealed to us 
by the cuneiform correspondence from Tel el-Amarna. 
It was highly agglutinative, and unlike any other 
form of speech, ancient or modern, with which we 
are acquainted. Perhaps the speakers of it, like the 
Hittites, had descended from the north, and occupied 
territory which had originally belonged to Aramaic 
tribes. Perhaps, on the other hand, they represented 


the older population of the country which was over- 
powered and displaced by Semitic invaders. Which 
of these views is the more correct we shall probably 
never know. 

Along with their own language the people of 
Mitanni had also their own theology. Tessupas was 
god of the atmosphere, the Hadad of the Semites, 
Sauskas was identified with the Phoenician Ashtoreth, 
and Sekhrus, Zizanu, and Zannukhu are mentioned 
among the other deities. But many of the divinities 
of Assyria were also borrowed — Sin the Moon-god, 
whose temples stood in the city of Harran, Ea the 
god of the waters, Bel, the Baal of the Canaanites, 
and Istar, "the lady of Nineveh." Even Amon the 
god of Thebes was adopted into the pantheon in the 
days of Egyptian influence. 

How far back the interference of Aram-Naharaim 
in the affairs of Canaan may have reached it is impos- 
sible to say. But the kingdom lay on the high-road 
from Babylonia and Assyria to the West, and its rise 
may possibly have had something to do with the 
decline of Babylonian supremacy in Palestine. The 
district in which it grew up was called Suru or Suri 
by the Sumerian inhabitants of Chaldasa — a name 
which may be the origin of the modern "Syria," 
rather than Assyria, as is usually supposed, and the 
Semitic Babylonians gave it the title of Subari or 
Subartu. The conquest of Suri was the work of the 
last campaign of Sargon of Accad, and laid all 
northern Mesopotamia at his feet. 

We gather from the letters of Tel el-Amarna that 
the Babylonians were still intriguing in Canaan in 
the century before the Exodus, though they acknow- 
ledged that it was an Egyptian province and subject 


to Egyptian laws. But the memory of the power 
they had 'once exercised there still survived, and the 
influence of their culture continued undiminished. 
When their rule actually ceased we do not yet know. 
It cannot have been very long, however, before the 
era of Egyptian conquest. In the Tel el-Amarna 
tablets they are probably called Kassites, a name 
which could have been given to them only after the 
conquest of Babylonia by the Kassite mountaineers 
of Elam, and the rise of a Kassite dynasty of kings. 
This was about 1760 B.C. For some time subse- 
quently, therefore, the government of Babylonia must 
still have been acknowledged in Canaan. With this 
agrees a statement of the Egyptian historian Manetho, 
upon which the critics, in their wisdom or their 
ignorance, have poured unmeasured contempt. He 
tells us that when the Hyksos were driven out of 
Egypt by Ahmes I., the founder of the eighteenth 
dynasty, they occupied Jerusalem and fortified it — 
not, as would naturally be imagined, against the 
Egyptian Pharaoh, but against "the Assyrians," as 
the Babylonians were called by Manetho's contem- 
poraries. As long as there were no monuments to 
confront them the critics had little difficulty in proving 
that the statement was preposterous and unhistorical, 
that Jerusalem did not as yet exist, and that no 
Assyrians or Babylonians entered Palestine until cen- 
turies later. But we now know that Manetho was 
right and his critics wrong. Jerusalem did exist, and 
Babylonian armies threatened the independence of 
the Canaanite states. In one of his letters, Ebed- 
Kheba, king of Jerusalem, tells the Pharaoh that he 
need not be alarmed about the Babylonians, for the 
temple at Jerusalem is strong enough to resist their 


attack. Rib-Hadad the governor of Gebal bears the 
same testimony. "When thou didst sit on the throne 
of thy father," he says, "the sons of Ebed-Asherah 
(the Amorite) attached themselves to the country of 
the Babylonians, and took the country of the Pharaoh 
for themselves; they (intrigued with) the king of 
Mitanna, and the king of the Babylonians, and the 
king of the Hittites." In another despatch he speaks 
in a similar strain: "The king of the Babylonians 
and the king of Mitanna are strong, and have taken 
the country of the Pharaoh for themselves already, 
and have seized the cities of thy governor." When 
George the Synkellos notes that the Chaldasans made 
war against the Phoenicians in 1556 B.C., he is doubt- 
less quoting from some old and trustworthy source. 

We must not imagine, however, that there was any 
permanent occupation of Canaan on the part of the 
Babylonians at this period of its history. It would 
seem rather that Babylonian authority was directly 
exercised only from time to time, and had to be en- 
forced by repeated invasions and campaigns. It was 
the influence of Babylonian civilization and culture 
that was permanent, not the Babylonian government 
itself. Sometimes, indeed, Canaan became a Baby- 
lonian province, at other times there were only certain 
portions of the country which submitted to the foreign 
control, while again at other times the Babylonian 
rule was merely nominal. But it is clear that it was 
not until Canaan had been thoroughly reduced by 
Egyptian arms that the old claim of Babylonia to be 
its mistress was finally renounced, and even then 
we see that intrigues were carried on with the 
Babylonians against the Egyptian authority. 

It was during this period of Babylonian influence 


and tutelage that the traditions and myths of Chaldaea 
became known to the people of Canaan. It is again 
the tablets of Tel el-Amarna which have shown us 
how this came to pass. Among them are fragments 
of Babylonian legends, one of which endeavoured to 
account for the creation of man and the introduction 
of death into the world, and these legends were used 
as exercise-books in the foreign language by the 
scribes of Canaan and Egypt who were learning the 
Babylonian language and script. If ever we discover 
the library of Kirjath-sepher we shall doubtless find 
among its clay records similar examples of Chaldaean 
literature. The resemblances between the cosmogonies 
of Phoenicia and Babylonia have often been pointed 
out, and since the discovery of the Chaldaean account 
of the Deluge by George Smith we have learned that 
between that account and the one which is preserved 
in Genesis there is the closest possible likeness, 
extending even to words and phrases. The long- 
continued literary influence of Babylonia in Palestine 
in the Patriarchal Age explains all this, and shows 
us how the traditions of Chaldaea made their way to 
the west. When Abraham entered Canaan, he 
entered a country whose educated inhabitants were 
already familiar with the books, the history, and the 
traditions of that in which he had been born. There 
were doubtless many to whom the name and history 
of " L T r of the Chaidees " were already known. It 
may even be that copies of the books in its library 
already existed in the libraries of Canaan. 

There was one Babylonian hero at all events whose 
name had become so well known in the west that it 
had there passed into a proverb. This was the name 
of Nimrod, "the mighty hunter before the Lord." As 


yet the cuneiform documents are silent about him, but 
it is probable that he was the founder of Nineveh who 
had led the Semites of Babylonia to the conquest of 
Assyria. He is called the son of Cush or Kas, and 
"the beginning of his kingdom " was Babylon, which 
had now for six centuries been the capital of the 
country. His name, however, was as familiar to the 
Canaanite as it was to the inhabitant of Chaldsea, and 
the god before whom his exploits were displayed was 
Yahveh and not Bel. 

It was about 1600 B.C. that the Hyksos were finally 
expelled from Egypt. They were originally Asiatic 
hordes who had overrun the valley of the Nile, and 
held it in subjection for several centuries. At first 
they had carried desolation with them wherever they 
went. The temples of the Egyptian gods were de- 
stroyed and their priests massacred. But before long 
Egyptian culture proved too strong for the invaders. 
The rude chief of a savage horde became transformed 
into an Egyptian Pharaoh, whose court resembled 
that of the ancient line of monarchs, and who sur- 
rounded himself with learned men. The cities and 
temples were restored and beautified, and art began 
to flourish once more. Except in one respect it became 
difficult to distinguish the Hyksos prince from his 
predecessors on the throne of Egypt. That one 
respect was religion. The supreme object of Hyksos 
worship continued to be Sutekh, the Baal of Western 
Asia, whose cult the foreigners had brought with them 
from their old homes. But even Sutekh was assimi- 
lated to Ra, the Sun-god of On, and the Hyksos 
Pharaohs felt no scruple in imitating the native kings 
and combining their own names with that of Ra. 
It was only the Egyptians who refused to admit the 


assimilation, and insisted on identifying Sutekh with 
Set, the enemy of Horus. 

At the outset all Egypt was compelled to submit 
to the Hyksos domination. Hyksos monuments have 
been found as far south as Gebelen and El-Kab, and 
the first Hyksos dynasty established its seat in Mem- 
phis, the old capital of the country. Gradually, how- 
ever, the centre of Hyksos power retreated into the 
delta. Zoan or Tanis, the modern San, became the 
residence of the court : here the Hyksos kings were 
in close proximity to their kindred in Asia, and were, 
moreover, removed from the unmixed Egyptian 
population further south. From Zoan, "built" — or 
rather rebuilt — "seven years" after Hebron (Num. 
xiii. 22), they governed the valley of the Nile. Their 
rule was assisted by the mutual jealousies and quarrels 
of the native feudal princes who shared between them 
the land of Egypt. The foreigner kept his hold upon 
the country by means of the old feudal aristocracy. 

Thebes, however, had never forgotten that it had 
been the birthplace and capital of the powerful 
Pharaohs of the twelfth and thirteenth dynasties, of 
the mighty princes who had conquered the Soudan, 
and ruled with an iron hand over the feudal lords. 
The heirs of the Theban Pharaohs still survived as 
princes of Thebes, and behind the strong walls of El- 
Kab they began to think of independence. Apophis II. 
in his court at Zoan perceived the rising storm, and 
endeavoured to check it at its beginning. According 
to the story of a later day, he sent insulting messages 
to the prince of Thebes, and ordered him to worship 
Sutekh the Hyksos god. The prince defied his suze- 
rain, and the war of independence began. It lasted 
for several generations, during which the Theban 


princes made themselves masters of Upper Egypt, 
and established a native dynasty of Pharaohs which 
reigned simultaneously with the Hyksos dynasty in 
the North. 

Step by step the Hyksos stranger was pushed back 
to the north-eastern corner of the delta. At length 
Zoan itself fell into the hands of the Egyptians, and 
the Hyksos took refuge in the great fortress of Avaris 
on the extreme border of the kingdom. Here they 
were besieged by the Theban prince Ahmes, and 
eventually driven back to the Asia from which they 
had come. The eighteenth dynasty was founded, and 
Ahmes entered on that career of Asiatic conquest 
which converted Canaan into an Egyptian province. 
At first the war was one of revenge; but it soon 
became one of conquest, and the war of independence 
was followed by the rise of the Egyptian empire. 
Thothmes II., the grandson of Ahmes, led his forces 
as far as the Euphrates and the land of Aram- 
Naharaim. The territories thus overrun in a sort of 
military reconnaissance were conquered and annexed 
by his son Thothmes III., during his long reign of 
fifty-four years (March 20, 1503 B.C., to February 14, 
1449 B.C.). Canaan on both sides of the Jordan was 
made into a province, and governed much as India 
is to-day. Some of the cities were allowed still to 
retain their old line of princes, who were called upon 
to furnish tribute to the Egyptian treasury and recruits 
to the Egyptian army. From time to time they were 
visited by an Egyptian "Commissioner," and an 
Egyptian garrison kept watch upon their conduct. 
Sometimes an Egyptian Resident was appointed by 
the side of the native king; this was the case, for 
example, at Sidon and Hazor. Where, however, the 



city was of strategical or political importance it was 
incorporated into the Egyptian empire, and placed 
under the immediate control of an Egyptian governor, 
as at Megiddo, Gaza, Gebal, Gezer, and Tyre. 
Similarly Ziri-Basana, "the field of Bashan," was 
under the government of a single khazan or "prefect." 
The troops, who also acted as police, were divided 
into various classes. There were the tsabi pidati or 
"bowmen," the tsabi saruti or "militia," the Khabbati 
or "Beduin plunderers," and the tsabi matsarti or 
"Egyptian soldiers of the garrison," as well as the 
tsabi bitati or "house-guards," who were summoned 
in cases of emergency. Among the auxiliaries were 
included the Serdani or Sardinians, while the Sute — 
the Sati or Sitti of the hieroglyphic texts — formed the 
larger portion of the Beduin (" Bashi-bazouks "), and 
the Egyptian forces were divided into the cavalry or 
rather charioteers, and the Misi (called Mas'u in the 
hieroglyphics) or infantry. 

Fragments of the annals of Thothmes III. have 
been preserved on the shattered walls of his temple at 
Karnak. Here, too, we may read the lists of places 
he conquered in Palestine — the land of the Upper 
Lotan as it is termed — as well as in Northern Syria. 
Like the annals, the geographical lists have been 
compiled from memoranda made on the spot by the 
scribes who followed the army, and in some instances, 
at all events, it can be shown that they have been 
translated into Egyptian hieroglyphs from Babylonian 
cuneiform. The fact is an indication of the conquest 
that Asia was already beginning to make over her 
Egyptian conquerors. But the annals themselves are 
a further and still more convincing proof of Asiatic 
influence. To cover the walls of a temple with the 


history of campaigns in a foreign land, and an account 
of the tribute brought to the Pharaoh, was wholly 
contrary to Egyptian ideas. From the Egyptian point 
of view the decoration of the sacred edifice should 
have been theological only. The only subjects repre- 
sented on it, so custom and belief had ruled, ought to 
be the gods, and the stereotyped phrases describing 
their attributes, their deeds, and their festivals. To 
substitute for this the records of secular history was 
Assyrian and not Egyptian. Indeed the very concep- 
tion of annalistic chronicling, in which the history of 
a reign was given briefly year by year and campaign 
by campaign, belonged to the kingdoms of the Tigris 
and Euphrates, not to that of the Nile. It was a new 
thing in Egypt, and flourished there only during the 
short period of Asiatic influence. The Egyptian cared 
comparatively little for history, and made use of 
papyrus when he wished to record it. Unfortu- 
nately for us the annals of Thothmes III. remain 
the solitary monument of Egyptian chronicling on 

The twenty-second year of his reign (1481 B.C.) 
was that in which the Egyptian Pharaoh made his 
first determined effort to subdue Canaan. Gaza was 
occupied without much difficulty, and in the following 
year, on the fifth day of the month Pakhons, he set 
out from it, and eleven days later encamped at Ihem. 
There he learned that the confederated Canaanitish 
army, under the command of the king of Kadesh on 
the Orontes, was awaiting his attack at Megiddo. 
Not only were the various nations of Palestine repre- 
sented in it, but contingents had come from Naharaim 
on the banks of the Euphrates, as well as from the 
Gulf of Antioch. For a while Thothmes hesitated 
f 2 


whether to march against them by the road which 
led through 'Aluna to Taanach or by way of Zaft 
(perhaps Safed), whence he would have descended 
southward upon Megiddo. The arrival of his spies, 
however, determined him to take the first, and accord- 
ingly, after the officers had sworn that they would not 
leave their appointed posts in battle even to defend 
the person of the king, he started on his march, and 
on the nineteenth of the month pitched his tent at 
'Aluna. The way had been rough and impassable 
for chariots, so that the king had been forced to march 
on foot. 

'Aluna must have been close to Megiddo, since the 
rear of the Egyptian forces was stationed there during 
the battle that followed, while the southern wing ex- 
tended to Taanach and the northern wing to Megiddo. 
The advanced guard pushed into the plain below, and 
the royal tent was set up on the bank of the brook of 
Qana, an affluent of the Kishon. The decisive 
struggle took place on the twenty-first of the month. 
Thothmes rode in a chariot of polished bronze, and 
posted himself among the troops on the north-west 
side of Megiddo. The Canaanites were unable to 
resist the Egyptian charge. They fled into the city, 
leaving behind them their horses and their chariots 
plated with gold and silver, those who arrived after 
the gates of the town had been shut being drawn 
up over the walls by means of ropes. Had the 
Egyptians not stayed behind in order to plunder the 
enemy's camp they would have entered Megiddo 
along with the fugitives. As it was, they were com- 
pelled to blockade the city, building a rampart round 
it of "fresh green trees," and the besieged were finallv 
starved into a surrender. 


In the captured camp had been found the son of the 
king of Megiddo, besides a large amount of booty, 
including chariots of silver and gold from Asi or 
Cyprus. Two suits of iron armour were also obtained, 
one belonging to the king of Kadesh, the other to the 
king of Megiddo. The seven tent-poles of the royal 
tent, plated with gold, also fell into the hands of the 
Egyptians. The catalogue of the spoil was written 
down on a leather roll which was deposited in the 
temple of Amon at Thebes, and in it were enumer- 
ated : 3401 prisoners and 83 hands belonging to the 
slain, 32 chariots plated with gold, 892 ordinary 
chariots, 2041 mares, 191 foals, 602 bows, and 200 
suits of armour. 

Before the campaign was ended the Egyptian army 
had penetrated far to the north and captured Inuam, 
north of Damascus, as well as Anugas or Nukhasse, 
and Harankal, to the north of the land of the Amor- 
ites. All these places seem to have belonged to the 
king of Kadesh, as his property was carried away out 
of them. When Thothmes returned to Thebes the 
quantity of spoil he brought back with him was 
immense. " Besides precious stones," golden bowls, 
Phoenician cups with double handles and the like, 
there were 97 swords, 1784 pounds of gold rings and 
966 pounds of silver rings, which served as money, 
a statue with a head of gold, tables, chairs, and staves 
of cedar and ebony inlaid with gold, ivory and 
precious stones, a golden plough, the golden sceptre 
of the conquered prince, and richly embroidered stuffs. 
The fields of the vanquished province were further 
measured by the Egyptian surveyors, and the amount 
of taxation annually due from them was fixed. More 
than 208,000 measures of wheat were moreover carried 


off to Egypt from the plain of Megiddo. The 
Canaanitish power was completely broken, and 
Thothmes was now free to extend his empire further 
to the north. 

Accordingly in the following year (1479 B.C.) we 
find him receiving tribute from the Assyrian king. 
This consisted of leather bracelets, various kinds of 
wood, and chariots. It was probably in this time 
that Carchemish on the Euphrates was taken, the 
city being stormed from the riverside. Five years 
later the first part of the annals was engraved on 
the wall of the new temple of Amon at Karnak, and 
it concluded with an account of the campaign of the 
year. This had been undertaken in Northern Syria, 
and had resulted in the capture of Uarrt and Tunip, 
now Ten nib, to the north-west of Aleppo. No less 
than one hundred pounds of silver and as many of 
gold were taken from Tunip, as well as lapis-lazuli 
from Babylonia, and malachite from the Sinaitic 
peninsula, together with vessels of iron and bronze. 
Some ships also were captured, laden with slaves, 
bronze, lead, white gold, and other products of the 
Greek seas. On the march home the Egyptian army 
took possession of Arvad, and seized its rich stores 
of wheat and wine. "Then the soldiers caroused and 
anointed themselves with oil as they used to do on 
feast days in the land of Egypt." 

The next year Kadesh on the Orontes, near the 
Lake of Horns, was attacked and destroyed, its trees 
were cut down and its corn carried away. From 
Kadesh Thothmes proceeded to the land of Phoenicia, 
and took the cities of Zemar (now Sumra) and Arvad. 
The heirs of four of the conquered princes were 
carried as hostages to Egypt, "so that when one of 


these kings should die, then the Pharaoh should take 
his son and put him in his stead." 

In 1472 B.C. the land of the Amorites was reduced, 
or rather that part of it which was known as Takhis, 
the Thahash of Genesis xxii. 24, on the shores of the 
Lake of Merna, in which we should probably see the 
Lake of Horns. Nearly 500 prisoners were led to 
Egypt. The Syrian princes now came to offer their 
gifts to the conqueror, bringing with them, among 
other things, more than 760 pounds of silver, 19 
chariots covered with silver ornaments, and 41 
leathern collars covered with bronze scales. At the 
same time the whole country was thoroughly organ- 
ized under the new Egyptian administration. Mili- 
tary roads were constructed and provided with 
posting-houses, at each of which relays of horses were 
kept in readiness, as well as "the necessary provision 
of bread of various sorts, oil, balsam, wine, honey, 
and fruits." The quarries of the Lebanon were 
further required to furnish the Pharaoh with limestone 
for his buildings in Egypt and elsewhere. 

Two years later Thothmes was again in Syria. He 
made his way as far as the Euphrates, and there on 
the eastern bank erected a stele by the side of one 
which his father Thothmes II. had already set up. 
The stele was an imperial boundary-stone marking 
the frontier of the Egyptian empire. It was just such 
another stele that Hadad-ezer of Zobah was intending 
to restore in the same place when he was met and 
defeated by David (2 Sam. viii. 3). 

The Pharaoh now took ship and descended the 
Euphrates, "conquering the towns and ploughing 
up the fields of the king of Naharaim." He then 
re-ascended the stream to the city of Ni, where he 


placed another stele, in proof that the boundary of 
Egypt had been extended thus far. Elephants still 
existed in the neighbourhood, as they continued to 
do four and a half centuries later in the time of the 
Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser I. Thothmes amused 
himself by hunting them, and no less than 120 were 

On his way home the tribute and "yearly tax" of 
the inhabitants of the Lebanon was brought to him, 
and the corv^e-work annually required from them was 
also fixed. Thothmes indulged his taste for natural 
history by receiving as part of the tribute various 
birds which were peculiar to Syria, or at all events 
were unknown in Egypt, and which, we are told, 
"were dearer to the king than anything else." He 
had already established zoological and botanical 
gardens in Thebes, and the strange animals and 
plants which his campaigns furnished for them were 
depicted on the walls of one of the chambers in the 
temple he built at Karnak. 

Before his return to Egypt he received the tribute 
of "the king of Sangar," or Shinar, i.e. Babylonia, 
and "of the land of Khata the greater." The first 
consisted for the most part of lapis-lazuli, real and 
artificial, of which the most prized was "the lapis- 
lazuli of Babylon." Among the gifts was "a ram's 
head of real lapis-lazuli, 15 pounds in weight." The 
land of the Hittites, "the greater," so called to dis- 
tinguish it from the lesser Hittite land in the south 
of Palestine, sent 8 rings of silver, 400 pounds in 
weight, besides "a great piece of crystal." 

The following year Thothmes marched through 
"the land of Zahi," the "dry land" of the Phoenician 
coast, to Northern Syria, where he punished the king 


of Anugas or Nukhasse, who had shown symptoms 
of rebellion. Large quantities of gold and bronze 
were carried off, as well as 15 chariots, plated with 
gold and silver, 6 iron tent-poles studded with 
precious stones, and 70 asses. Lead and various kinds 
of wood and stone, together with 608 jars of Lebanon 
wine, 2080 jars of oil, and 690 jars of balsam, were 
also received from Southern Syria, and posting- 
houses were established along the roads of the land 
of Zahi. A fleet of Phoenician merchant vessels was 
next sent to Egypt laden with logs of wood from 
the forests of Palestine and the Lebanon for the build- 
ings of the king. At the same time, "the king of 
Cyprus," which was now an Egyptian possession, 
forwarded his tribute to the Pharaoh, consisting of 
108 bricks of copper 2040 pounds in weight, 5 bricks 
of lead nearly 29,000 pounds in weight, no pounds 
of lapis-lazuli, an elephant's tusk, and other objects 
of value. 

The next year (1468 B.C.) there was a campaign 
against the king of Naharaim who had collected his 
soldiers and horses "from the extreme ends of the 
world." But the Mesopotamian army was utterly 
defeated. Its booty fell into the hands of the 
Egyptians, who, however, took only ten prisoners, 
which looks as if, after all, the battle was not on a 
very large scale. 

In 1464 B.C. Thothmes was again in Northern Syria. 
Among the booty acquired during the expedition were 
"bowls with goats' heads on them, and one with a 
lion's head, the work of the land of Zahi." Horses, 
asses and oxen, 522 slaves, 156 jars of wine, 1752 jars 
of butter, 5 elephants' tusks, 2822 pounds of gold, 
besides copper and lead, were among the spoils of the 


campaign. The annual tribute was also received from 
Cyprus, consisting this time of copper and mares, as 
well as from Aripakh, a district in the Taurus. 

The next year the Pharaoh led his troops against 
some country, the name of which is lost, in "the land 
of the hostile Shasu " or Beduin. The plunder which 
was carried off from it shows that it was somewhere in 
Syria, probably in the region of the Lebanon. Gold 
and silver, a silver double-handled cup with a bull's 
head, iron, wine, balsam, oil, butter and honey, were 
among the spoils of the war. Tribute arrived also 
from "the king of the greater Hittite land," which 
included a number of negro slaves. 

Revolt, however, now broke out in the north. Tunip 
rebelled, as did also the king of Kadesh, who built 
a "new" fortress to protect his city from attack. 
Thothmes at once marched against them by the road 
along "the coast," which led him through the country 
of the Fenkhu or Phoenicians. First he fell upon the 
towns of Alkana and utterly destroyed them, and 
then poured his troops into the neighbouring land of 
Tunip. The city of Tunip was taken and burnt, its 
crops were trodden under-foot, its trees cut down, and 
its inhabitants carried into slavery. Then came the 
turn of Kadesh. The "new" fortress fell at the first 
assault, and the whole country was compelled to 

The king of Assyria again sent presents to the 
Pharaoh, which the Egyptian court regarded in the 
light of tribute. They consisted chiefly of large 
blocks of "real lapis-lazuli " as well as "lapis-lazuli 
of Babylon." More valuable gifts came from the sub- 
ject princes of Syria. Foremost among these was "a 
king's daughter all glorious with [a vesture of] gold." 


Then there were four chariots plated with gold and 
six chariots of gold, iron armour inlaid with gold, a 
jug of silver, a golden helmet inlaid with lapis-lazuli, 
wine, honey and balsam, ivory and various kinds of 
wood, wheat in such quantities that it could not be 
measured, and the sixty-five slaves who had to be 
furnished each year as part of the annual tax. 

The annals of the next two years are in too 
mutilated a condition to yield much information. 
Moreover, the campaigns carried on in them were 
mainly in the Soudan. In 1461 B.C. the record closes. 
It was in that year that the account of the Pharaoh's 
victories "which he had gained from the 23rd until 
the (4)2nd year " 1 were engraved upon the wall of 
the temple. And the chronicle concludes with the 
brief but expressive words, "Thus hath he done : may 
he live for ever ! " 

Thothmes, indeed, did not live for ever, but he 
survived the completion of his temple fourteen years. 
His death was followed by the revolt of Northern 
Syria, and the first achievement of his son and suc- 
cessor, Amenophis II., was its suppression. Ni and 
Ugarit, the centres of disaffection, were captured and 
punished, and among the prisoners from Ugarit were 
640 "Canaanite" merchants with their slaves. The 
name of Canaanite had thus already acquired that 
secondary meaning of "merchant" which we find 
in the Old Testament (Is. xxiii. 8; Ezek. xvii. 4). It 
is a significant proof of the commercial activity and 
trading establishments of the Canaanite race through- 
out the civilized world. They had already made their 

■ The inscription has "32nd year," but as the wars extended 
beyond the 40th year of the king's reign this must be a sculptor's 


way along the coasts and islands of the eastern 
Mediterranean in search of the purple dye for which 
they were famous. It was not always, however, that 
the Canaanites were so honourably distinguished. 
At times the name was equivalent to that of "slave" 
rather than of " merchant," as in a papyrus l where 
mention is made of the Kan'amu or "Canaanite slaves 
from Khal." So, too, in another papyrus we hear 
of a slave called Saruraz the son of Naqati, whose 
mother was Kadi from the land of Arvad. The 
Egyptian wars in Palestine must necessarily have 
resulted in the enslavement of many of its inhabit- 
ants, and, as we have seen, a certain number of 
young slaves formed part of the annual tax levied 
upon Syria. 

The successors of Thothmes III. extended the 
Egyptian empire far to the south in the Soudan. 
But its Asiatic limits had already been reached. 
Palestine, along with Phoenicia, the land of the 
Amorites and the country east of the Jordan, was 
constituted into an Egyptian province and kept 
strictly under Egyptian control. Further north the 
connection with the imperial government was looser. 
There were Egyptian fortresses and garrisons here 
and there, and certain important towns like Tunip, 
near Aleppo, and Qatna, on the Khabur, were placed 
under Egyptian prefects. But elsewhere the con- 
quered populations were allowed to remain under their 
native kings. In some instances, as, for example, in 
Anugas or Nukhasse, the kings were little more than 
satraps of the Pharaoh, but in other instances, like 
Alasiya in Cilicia, they resembled the rulers of the 
protected states in modern India. In fact, the king 
1 Anast. 4, 16, 2. 


of Alasiya calls the Pharaoh his "brother," and except 
for the obligation of paying tribute was practically an 
independent sovereign. 

The Egyptian dominion was acknowledged as far 
north as Mount Amanus. Carchemish, soon to be- 
come a Hittite stronghold, was in Egyptian hands, 
and the Hittites themselves had not yet emerged from 
the fortresses of the Taurus. Their territory was still 
confined to Kataonia and Armenia Minor between 
Melit^ne and the Saros, and they courted the favour 
of the Egyptian monarch by sending him gifts. 
Thothmes would have refused to believe that before 
many years were over they would wrest Northern 
Syria from his successors, and contend on equal terms 
with the Egyptian Pharaoh. 

The Egyptian possessions on the east bank of 
Euphrates lay along the course of the Khabur, 
towards the oasis of Singar or Shinar. North of the 
Belikh came the powerful kingdom of Mitanni, Aram- 
Naharaim as it is called in the Old Testament, which 
was never subdued by the Egyptian arms, and whose 
royal family intermarried with the successors of 
Thothmes. Mitanni, the capital, stood nearly oppo- 
site Carchemish, which thus protected the Egyptian 
frontier on the east. 

Southward of the Belikh the frontier was formed 
by the desert. Syria, Bashan, Ammon, and Moab 
were all included in the Pharaoh's empire. But there 
it came to an end. Mount Seir was never conquered 
by the Egyptians. The "city" of Edom appears in 
one of the Tel el-Amarna tablets as a foreign state 
whose inhabitants wage war against the Egyptian 
territory. The conquest of the Edomites in their 
mountain fastnesses would have been a matter of diffi- 


culty, nor would anything have been gained by it. 
Edom was rich neither agriculturally nor commerci- 
ally; it was, in fact, a land of barren mountains, and 
the trade which afterwards passed through the Arabah 
to Elath and Ezion-geber in the Gulf of Aqabah was 
already secured to the Egyptians through their pos- 
session of the Gulf of Suez. The first and last of the 
Pharaohs, so far as we know, who ventured on a cam- 
paign against the wild tribes of Mount Seir, was 
Ramses III. of the twentieth dynasty, and his cam- 
paign was merely a punitive one. No attempt to 
incorporate the "Red Land" into his dominions was 
ever made by an Egyptian king. 

The Sinaitic peninsula, the province of Mafkat or 
"Malachite," as it was called, had been in the pos- 
session of the Egyptians since the time of the kings 
of the first dynasty, and it continued to be regarded 
as part of the Egyptian kingdom up to the age of 
the Ptolemies. The earliest of Egyptian rock- 
sculptures is engraved in the peninsula, and repre- 
sents Snefru, the founder of the fourth dynasty, 
slaughtering the Beduin who inhabited it. Its pos- 
session was valued on account of its mines of copper 
and malachite. These were worked by the Egyptian 
kings with the help of convict labour. Garrisons were 
established to protect them and the roads which led 
to them, colonies of officials grew up at their side, 
and temples were built dedicated to the deities of 
Egypt. Even as late as the reign of Ramses III. 
the amount of minerals produced by the mines was 
enormous. They existed for the most part on the 
western side of the peninsula, opposite the Egyptian 
coast; but Ramses III. also opened copper mines in 
the land of 'Ataka further east, and the name of the 


goddess Hathor in hieroglyphics has been found by 
Dr. Friedmann on the shores of Midian. 

Vanquished Syria was made to contribute to the 
endowments of the Egyptian temples. Thus the 
temple of Amon at Thebes was endowed by Thothmes 
III. with the revenues of the three cities Anugas, 
Inu'am, and Harankal ; while Seti I., the father of 
Ramses II., bestowed upon it "all the silver, gold, 
lapis-lazuli, malachite, and precious stones which he 
carried off from the humbled land of Syria." Temples 
of the Egyptian gods, as well as towns, were built in 
Syria itself; Meneptah founded a city in the land of 
the Amorites; Ramses III. erected a temple to Amon 
in "the land of Canaan, great as the horizon of heaven 
above, to which the people of Syria come with their 
gifts " ; and hieroglyphic inscriptions lately discovered 
at Gaza show that another temple had been built there 
by Amenophis II. to the goddess Mut. 

Amenophis had suppressed the rebellion in North- 
ern Syria with little trouble. Seven Amorite kings 
were carried prisoners to Egypt from the land of 
Takhis, and taken up the river as far as Thebes. 
There six of them were hung outside the walls of the 
city, as the body of Saul was hung by the Philistines 
outside the walls of Beth-shan, while the seventh was 
conveyed to Napata in Ethiopia, and there punished 
in the same way in order to impress a lesson of obedi- 
ence upon the negroes of the Soudan. 

Amenophis II. was succeeded by Thothmes IV., 
who was called upon to face a new enemy, the Hit- 
tites. It was at the commencement of his reign that 
they first began to descend from their mountain 
homes, and the frontier city of Tunip had to bear 
the brunt of the attack. It was probably in order to 


strengthen himself against these formidable foes that 
the Pharaoh married the daughter of the king of 
Mitanni, who changed her name to Mut-em-ua. It 
was the beginning of those inter-marriages with the 
princes of Asia which led to the Asiatized court and 
religion of Amenophis IV., and finally to the over- 
throw of the eighteenth dynasty. 

The son of Mut-em-ua was Amenophis III., whose 
long reign of thirty-seven years was as brilliant and 
successful as that of Thothmes III. At Soleb between 
the second and third cataracts he built a temple to 
his own deified self, and engraved upon its columns 
the names of his vassal states. Among them are 
Tunip and Kadesh, Carchemish and Apphadana, on 
the Khabur. Shinar, Assyria, Naharaim, and the 
Hittites also appear among them, but this must be 
on the strength of the tribute or presents which had 
been received from them. The Pharaoh filled his 
harim with Asiatic princesses. His queen Teie, who 
exercised an important influence upon both religion 
and politics, came from Asia, and among his wives 
were the sisters and daughters of the kings of Baby- 
lonia and Mitanni, while one of his own daughters 
was married to Burna-buryas the Babylonian sove- 
reign. His marriage with Gilu-khipa, the daughter of 
Sutarna, king of Aram-Naharaim, was celebrated on 
a scarab, where it is further related that she was 
accompanied to Egypt by three hundred and seven- 
teen "maids of honour." Besides allying himself in 
marriage to the royal houses of Asia, Amenophis III. 
passed a good deal of his time in Syria and Meso- 
potamia, amusing himself with hunting lions. During 
the first ten years of his reign he boasts of having 
killed no less than one hundred and two of them. It 


was in the last of these years that he married queen 
Teie, who is said on scarabs to have been the daughter 
of "Yua and Tua." Their tomb has been discovered 
at Thebes by Mr. Theodore M. Davis, filled with 
precious objects which are now in the Museum 
of Cairo. They were neither of them royal person- 
ages, nor indeed persons of any rank in Egyptian 
society, what rank they possessed being derived from 
the marriage of their daughter with the Pharaoh. 
They were, in fact, foreigners, as is shown partly by 
the varying attempts made by the Egyptian scribes 
to write their names, which are not spelt in a uniform 
manner even on the objects found in their tomb, and 
partly by the non-Egyptian form of their skulls. 
Dr. Elliott Smith, the chief anthropological authority 
on the subject, has stated that the cranial character- 
istics point to Asia Minor; it is possible, therefore, 
that Teie was actually of Mitannian origin. That 
Amenophis did not disdain marrying into the royal 
house of Mitanni we know from the fact that one of 
his wives was the daughter of the Mitannian king, 
though she was not the chief queen. 

When Amenophis III. died his son Amenophis IV. 
seems to have been still a minora At all events the 
queen-mother Teie became all-powerful in the govern- 
ment of the state. Her son, the new Pharaoh, had 
been brought up in the religious beliefs of his mother, 
and had inherited the ideas and tendencies of his 
Asiatic forefathers. A plaster-cast of his face, taken 
immediately after death, was discovered by Prof. 
Petrie at Tel el-Amarna, and it is the face of a refined 
and thoughtful theorist, of a philosopher rather than 
of a king, earnest in his convictions almost to 


Amenophis IV. undertook no less a task than that 
of reforming the State religion of Egypt. For many 
centuries the religion of the priests and scribes had 
been inclining to pantheism. Inside the temples there 
had been an esoteric teaching, that the various deities 
of Egypt were but manifestations of the one supreme 
God. But it had hardly passed outside them. With 
the accession of Amenophis IV. to the throne came 
a change. The young king boldly rejected the reli- 
gion of which he was officially the head, and pro- 
fessed himself a worshipper of the one God whose 
visible semblance was the solar disk. Alone of the 
deities of Egypt, Ra, the ancient Sun-god of Heli- 
opolis, was acknowledged to be the representative of 
the true God. It was the Baal-worship of Syria, 
modified by the philosophic conceptions of Egypt. 
The Aten-Ra of the "heretic " Pharaoh was an Asiatic 
Baal, but unlike the Baal of Canaan he stood alone; 
there were no other Baals, no Baalim, by the side 
of him. 

Amenophis was not content with preaching and 
encouraging the new faith ; he sought to force it 
upon his subjects. The other gods of Egypt were 
proscribed, and the name and head of Amon, the 
patron god of Thebes, to whom his ancestors had 
ascribed their power and victories, were erased from 
the monuments wherever they occurred. Even his 
own father's name was not spared, and the emissaries 
of the king, from one end of the country to the other, 
defaced that portion of it which contained the name 
of the god. His own name was next changed, and 
Amenophis IV. became Khu-n-Aten, "the splendour 
of the solar disk." 

Khu-n-Aten 's attempt to overthrow the ancient 


faith of Egypt was naturally resisted by the powerful 
priesthood of Thebes. A religious war was declared 
for the first time, so far as we know, in the history 
of mankind. On the one side a fierce persecution 
was directed against the adherents of the old creed; 
on the other side every effort was made to impede 
and defeat the Pharaoh. His position grew daily 
more insecure, and at last he turned his back on the 
capital of his fathers, and built himself a new city 
far away to the north. The priests of Amon had 
thus far triumphed; the old idolatrous worship was 
carried on once more in the great temple of Karnak, 
though its official head was absent, and Khu-n-Aten 
with his archives and his court had fled to a safer 
home. Upper Egypt was left to its worship of Amon 
and Min, while the king established himself nearer 
his Canaanite possessions. 

Here on the eastern bank of the Nile, about mid- 
way between Minyeh and Siut, the new capital was 
founded on a strip of land protected from attack by 
a semi-amphitheatre of cliffs. The city, with its 
palaces and gardens, extended nearly two miles in 
length along the river bank. In its midst rose the 
temple of the new god of Egypt, and hard by the 
palace of the king. Both were brilliant with painting 
and sculpture, and inlaid work in precious stones and 
gold. Even the floors were frescoed, while the walls 
and columns were enamelled or adorned with the 
most costly materials that the Egyptian world could 
produce. Here and there were statues of alabaster, 
of bronze or of gold, some of them almost Greek in 
form and design. Along with the reform in religion 
there had gone a reform in art. The old conventional- 
ized art of Egypt was abandoned, and a new art had 
Q 2 


been introduced which aimed at imitating nature with 
realistic fidelity. 

The mounds which mark the site of Khu-n-Aten's 
city are now known as Tel el-Amarna. It had a brief 
but brilliant existence of about thirty years. Then 
the enemies of the Pharaoh and his work of reform 
finally prevailed, and his city with its temple and 
palaces was levelled to the ground. It is from among 
its ruins that the wondering fellah and explorer of 
to-day exhume the gorgeous relics of its past. 

But among these relics none have proved more 
precious than the clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform 
characters, which have revolutionized our conceptions 
of the ancient East. They were preserved in the 
Foreign Office of the day. This formed part of the 
public buildings connected with the palace, and the 
bricks of which it was built were stamped with an 
inscription describing its character. Many of the 
tablets had been brought from the archive chamber 
of Thebes, but the greater part of the collection 
belongs to the reign of Khu-n-Aten himself. It con- 
sists almost entirely of official correspondence; of 
letters from the kings of Babylonia and Assyria, of 
Mesopotamia and Kappadokia, and of despatches 
from the Egyptian governors and vassal-princes in 
Syria and Palestine. They furnish us with a living 
and unexpected picture of Canaan about 1400 B.C. 

Fragments of dictionaries for the use of the scribes 
have also been recovered from the debris of the build- 
ing, as well as the seal of a servant of Samas-akh- 
iddin who looked after the cuneiform correspondence. 
Like several of the Canaanitish governors, he bore a 
Babylonian name. Even the brother of Amenophis 
HI., who had been made king of Nukhasse, had 


received the Babylonian name of Rimmon-nirari. No 
stronger proof could be found of the extent and 
strength of Babylonian influence in the West. 

At Khut-Aten, as the "heretic" Pharaoh called his 
new capital, he was surrounded by the adherents of the 
new faith. Many of them were doubtless Egyptians, 
but many, perhaps the majority, were of Asiatic ex- 
traction. Already under his father and grandfather 
the court had been filled with Canaanites and other 
natives of Asia, and the great offices of state had 
been occupied by them. Now under Khu-n-Aten the 
Asiatic character of the government was increased 
tenfold. The native Egyptian had to make way for 
the foreigner, and the rule of the Syrian stranger 
which seemed to have been expelled with the Hyksos 
was restored under another form. Canaan was 
nominally a subject province of Egypt, but in reality 
it had led its conqueror captive. A semi-Asiatic 
Pharaoh was endeavouring to force an Asiatic form 
of faith upon his subjects, and entrusting his govern- 
ment to Asiatic officials ; even art had ceased to be 
Egyptian and had put on an Asiatic dress. 

The tombs of Khu-n-Aten's followers are cut in the 
cliffs at the back of the city, while his own sepulchre 
is towards the end of a long ravine which runs out 
into the eastern desert between two lofty lines of pre- 
cipitous rock. But few of them are finished, and the 
sepulchre of the king himself, magnificent in its 
design, is incomplete and mutilated. The sculptures 
on the walls have been broken, and the granite sarco- 
phagus in which the body of the great king rested 
has been shattered into fragments before it could 
be lifted into the niche where it was intended to 
stand. The royal mummy was torn into shreds, 


and the porcelain figures buried with it dashed to the 

It is clear that the death of Khu-n-Aten must have 
been quickly followed by the triumph of his enemies. 
His capital was overthrown, the stones of his temple 
carried away to Thebes, there to adorn the sanctuary 
of the victorious Amon, and the adherents of his 
reform either slain or driven into exile. The ven- 
geance executed upon them was national as well as 
religious. It meant not only a restoration of the 
national faith, but also the restoration of the native 
Egyptian to the government of his country. The 
feelings which inspired it were similar to those which 
underlay the movement of Arabi in our own time, 
and there was no English army to stand in the way 
of its success. The rise of the nineteenth dynasty 
represents the triumph of the national cause. 

The cuneiform letters of Tel el-Amarna show that 
already before Khu-n-Aten's death his empire and 
power were breaking up. Letter after letter is sent 
to him from the governors in Canaan with urgent 
requests for troops. The Hittites were attacking the 
empire in the north, and rebels were overthrowing it 
within. "If auxiliaries come this year," writes Ebed- 
Kheba of Jerusalem, "the provinces of the king my 
lord will be preserved ; but if no auxiliaries come the 
provinces of the king my lord will be destroyed." To 
thes~ entreaties no answer could be returned. There 
was civil and religious war in Egypt itself, and 
the army was needed to defend the Pharaoh at 

The picture of Canaan presented to us by the Tel 
el-Amarna correspondence has been supplemented by 
the discovery of Lachish. Five years ago Prof. 


Flinders Petrie undertook to excavate for the Pales- 
tine Exploration Fund in the lofty mound of Tel 
el-Hesi in Southern Palestine. Tel el-Hesi stands 
midway between Gaza and Hebron on the edge of the 
Judaean mountains, and overlooking a torrent stream. 
His excavations resulted in the discovery of successive 
cities built one upon the ruins of the other, and in 
the probability that the site was that of Lachish. The 
excavations were resumed by Mr. Bliss in the follow- 
ing year, and the probability was raised to practical 
certainty. The lowest of the cities was the Lachish 
of the Amorite period, whose crude brick walls, nearly 
twenty-nine feet in thickness, have been brought to 
light, while its pottery has revealed to us for the first 
time the characteristics of Amorite manufacture. The 
huge walls bear out the testimony of the Israelitish 
spies, that the cities of the Amorites were "great and 
walled up to heaven " (Deut. i. 28). They give in- 
dications, however, that in spite of their strength the 
fortresses they enclosed must have been captured more 
than once. Doubtless this was during the age of the 
Egyptian wars in Canaan. 

As at Troy, it is probable that it was only the 
citadel which was thus strongly fortified. Below it 
was the main part of the town, the inhabitants of 
which took refuge in the citadel when an enemy threat- 
ened to attack them. The fortified part, indeed, was 
not of very large extent. Its ruins measured only 
about two hundred feet each way, while the enclosure 
within which it stands is a quarter of a mile in 
diameter. Here a regular series of pottery has been 
found, dating from the post-exilic age through suc- 
cessive strata back to the primitive Amoritish fortress. 
To Prof. Petrie belongs the credit of determining the 


characteristics of these various strata, and fixing their 
approximate age. 

The work begun by Prof. Petrie was continued by- 
Mr. Bliss. Deep down among the ruins of the Amor- 
itish town he found objects which take us back to the 
time of Khu-n-Aten and his predecessors. They con- 
sist of Egyptian beads and scarabs of the eighteenth 
dynasty, and on one of the beads are the name and 
title of "the royal wife Teie." Along with them were 
discovered beads of amber which came from the Baltic 
as well as seal-cylinders, some of them imported from 
Babylonia, others western imitations of Babylonian 
work. The Babylonian cylinders belong to the period 
which extends from 3000 to 1500 B.C., while the imita- 
tions are similar in style to those which have been 
found in the pre-historic tombs of Cyprus and 

But there was one discovery made by Mr. Bliss 
which far surpasses in interest all the rest. It is that 
of a cuneiform tablet, similar in character, in contents, 
and in age to those which have come from Tel el- 
Amarna. Even the Egyptian governor mentioned in 
it was already known to us from the Tel el-Amarna 
correspondence as the governor of Lachish. One of 
the cuneiform letters now preserved at Berlin was 
written by him, and Ebed-Kheba informs us that he 
was subsequently murdered by the people of his own 

Here is a translation of the letter discovered at Tel 
el-Hesi 1 : — 

1 This translation differs in some respects from that previously 
given by me, as it is based on the copy of the text made from the 
original at Constantinople by Dr. Scheil {Recueil de Travaux tela- 
tifs a la Philologie et a P Archdologie dgyptiennes et assyriennes y xv. 


"[To] the officer . . . [thus] speaks . . . abi. At 
thy feet I prostrate myself. Verily thou knowest that 
Dan-Hadad and Zimrida have made conspiracy 
together, and Dan-Hadad says to Zimrida : Send 
Isyara to me, O my father, [and] give me [3] shields 
(?) and 3 slings and 3 falchions, since I am gone out 
against the country of the king and it has acted 
against me ; but now I will get it back. As regards the 
scheme, he who has devised the scheme is Ilu-abu : 
send him therefore unto me. And [now] I am 
despatching Rabi-ilu . . . will convey to him . . . 
these words." 

Yisyara was the name of an Amorite, as we learn 
from one of the Tel el-Amarna tablets, where he is 
mentioned along with other rebels as being sent in 
fetters of bronze to the king. Of Dan-Hadad we 
know nothing further, but Zimrida's letter is as 
follows : — 

"To the king my lord, my god, my Sun-god, the 
Sun-god who is from heaven, thus (writes) Zimridi, 
the governor of the city of Lachish. Thy servant, the 
dust of thy feet, at the feet of the king my lord, the 
Sun-god from heaven, bows himself seven times seven. 
I have very deligently listened to the words of the 
messenger whom the king my lord has sent to me, 
and now I have despatched (a mission) according to 
his message." 

It was towards the end of Khu-n-Aten's reign, when 
the Egyptian empire was falling to pieces, that the 
murder of Zimrida took place. Ebed-Kheba thus 
describes it in a letter to the secretary of the Pharaoh : 

3> 4. I37)- As I stated at the time, my copy was made from a cast 
and was therefore uncertain in several places. I am doubtful whether 
even now the published text is correct throughout. 


"The Khabiri (or Confederates) are capturing the 
fortresses of the king. Not a single governor remains 
among them to the king my lord; all are destroyed. 
Behold, Turbazu thy officer [has fallen] in the great 
gate of the city of Zelah. Behold, the servants who 
acted against the king have slain Zimrida of Lachish. 
They have murdered Jephthah-Hadad thy officer in 
the gate of the city of Zelah." 

We hear of another governor of Lachish, Yabni-el 
by name, but he probably held office before Zimrida. 
At all events the following despatch of his has been 
preserved : — 

"To the king my lord, my god, my Sun-god the 
Sun-god who is from heaven, thus (writes) Yabni-el, the 
governor of the city of Lachish, thy servant, the dust 
of thy feet, the groom of thy horses ; at the feet of the 
king my lord, my god, my Sun-god, the Sun-god who 
is from heaven, seven times seven I bow myself. 
Glorious and supreme [art thou]. As to the repre- 
sentative of the king my lord, whom he has sent to 
me, now have I heard all the words which Maya the 
prefect of the king has spoken to me. Now have I 
done everything." 

Zimrida of Lachish must be distinguished from 
another Canaanite of the same name who was 
governor of Sidon. This latter was a personal enemy 
of Rib-Hadad the governor of Gebal, whose letters 
to Khu-n-Aten form a considerable portion of the 
Tel el-Amarna collection. The authority of Rib- 
Hadad originally extended over the greater part of 
Phoenicia, and included the strong fortress of Zemar 
or Simyra in the mountains. One by one, however, 
his cities were taken from him by his adversaries 
whom he accuses of rebellion against the Pharaoh. 


His letters to Egypt are accordingly filled with im- 
ploring appeals for help. But none was sent, and 
as his enemies equally professed their loyalty to the 
Egyptian government, it is doubtful whether this was 
because the Pharaoh suspected Rib-Hadad himself 
of disaffection or because no troops could be spared. 

Rib-Hadad had been appointed to his post by 
Amenophis III., and in one of his letters he looks 
back regretfully on "the good old times." When his 
letters were written he was old and sick. Abimelech, 
the governor of Tyre, was almost the only friend who 
remained to him. Not content with fomenting rebel- 
lion in his district, and taking his cities from him, 
his enemies accused him to the Pharaoh of disloyalty 
and misdoing. Those accusations were in some cases 
founded on truth. He confesses to having fled from 
his city, but he urges that it was to save his life. The 
troops he had begged for had not been sent to him, 
and he could no longer defend either his city or him- 
self. He also alleges that the excesses committed by 
some of his servants had been without his knowledge. 
This seems to have been in answer to a despatch of 
Ammunira, the prefect of Beyrout, in which he in- 
formed the king that he was keeping the brother of 
the governor of Gebal as a hostage, and that the 
latter had been intriguing against the government in 
the land of the Amorites. 

Chief among the adversaries of Rib-Hadad was 
Ebed-Asherah, who belonged to the ancient royal 
house of Amurru and was king of the Amorites. 
Several of his sons are mentioned, but the ablest and 
most influential of them was Aziru or Ezer, who pos- 
sessed a considerable amount of power. The whole 
family, while professing to be the obedient servants 


of the Pharaoh, nevertheless acted with a good deal 
of independence, and sought to aggrandise themselves 
at the expense of the neighbouring governors. They 
had at their disposal a large body of "plunderers," 
or Beduin from the eastern desert, and Rib-Hadad 
accuses them of forming secret alliances with the 
kings of Babylonia, of Mitanni and of the Hittites. 
The authority of Aziru extended to the northern 
frontier of the empire ; we find him sent with the 
Egyptian general Khatip, or Hotep, to oppose the 
Hittite invasion, and writing to the king as well as 
to the prime minister Dudu to explain why they had 
not succeeded in doing so. Tunip had been invested 
by the enemy, and Aziru fears that it may fall into 
their hands. The Hittites had already made their way 
into the land of Nukhasse, and were from thence 
marching up into the land of the Amorites. 

On the heels of these despatches came a long letter 
from the people of Tunip, complaining of the conduct 
of Aziru, and protesting against his doing to them 
what he had done to the city of Ni. He was at the 
time in the land of the Hittites, doubtless carrying on 
the war against the general enemy. 

To these accusations Aziru made a full reply. "O 
my lord," he begins, "hearken not to the wicked men 
who slander me before the king my lord : I am thy 
servant for ever." He had been charged with want 
of respect to the Pharaoh, on the ground that he had 
not received the royal commissioner Khani on his 
arrival at Tunip. But, he replies, he did not know 
that the commissioner was coming, and as soon as 
he heard that he was on the road he "followed him, 
but failed to overtake him." In his absence Khani 
was duly received by the brethren of Aziru, and Batti- 


el (or Bethuel) furnished him with meat and bread 
and wine. Moreover, on his way home he was met 
by Aziru himself, who provided the commissioner 
with horses and mules. A more serious charge was 
that of seizing the city of Zemar. To this Aziru 
answers that it was done in self-defence, as the kings 
of Xukhasse had always been hostile to him, and had 
robbed him of his cities at the instigation of Khatip, 
who had also carried away all the silver and gold 
which the king had placed under his care. Moreover 
he had not really seized Zemar, but had won the 
people over to himself by means of gifts. Lastly, he 
denied the accusation that he had received the envoy 
of the king of the Hittites and refused to receive the 
Egyptian messenger, although the country he 
governed belonged to the king, and the king had 
appointed him over it. Let the Egyptian envoy make 
inquiries, he urges, and he will find that Aziru has 
acted uprightly. 

The capture of Zemar forms the burden of many 
of the letters of Rib-Hadad. It had been besieged 
for two months by Ebed-Asherah, who had vainly 
attempted to corrupt the loyalty of the governor of 
Gebal. For the time Rib-Hadad managed to save 
the city, but Aziru allied himself with Arvad and the 
neighbouring towns of Northern Phoenicia, captured 
twelve of Rib-Hadad's men, demanded a ransom of 
fifty pieces of silver for each of them, and seized the 
ships of Zemar, Beyrout, and Sidon. The forces sent 
from Gebal to Zemar were made prisoners by the 
Amorite chief at Abiliya, and the position of Rib- 
Hadad daily became more desperate. Pa-Hor, the 
Egyptian governor of Kumidi, joined his opponents, 
and induced the Sute or Beduin to attack his Sar- 


dinian guards. Yapa-Hadad, another governor, fol- 
lowed the example of Pa-Hor, and Zimridi, the 
governor of Sidon, had from the first been his enemy. 
Tyre alone remained faithful to his cause, though an 
" Ionian " who had been sent there on a mission from 
Egypt had handed over horses, chariots, and men to 
Ebed-Asherah, and it was accordingly to Tyre that 
Rib-Hadad sent his family for safety. Tyre, however, 
now began to suffer like Gebal in consequence of the 
alliance between Zimridi and Ebed-Asherah. 

Zemar eventually fell into the hands of Ebed- 
Asherah and his sons, its prefect Khayapa or Khaip 
being slain during the assault. Abimelech, the 
governor of Tyre, accuses Zimridi of having been the 
cause. Whether this were so or not, it placed the 
whole of Northern Phoenicia under the government 
or the influence of the Amorite chiefs. If Rib-Hadad 
spoke the truth, Ebed-Asherah had "sent to the 
soldiers in Bit-Ninip, saying, 4 Gather yourselves 
together, and let us march up against Gebal, if therein 
are any who have saved themselves from our hands, 
and we will appoint governors throughout all the 
provinces; ' so all the provinces went over to the 
Beduin." Provisions began to be scarce in Gebal, 
and the governor writes to Egypt for corn. 

Rib-Hadad now threatened the Pharaoh with 
deserting to his enemies if succour was not forth- 
coming immediately, and at the same time he appealed 
to Amon-apt and Khayapa, the Egyptian commis- 
sioners who had been sent to inquire into the condition 
of affairs in Canaan. The appeal was so far success- 
ful that tioops were despatched to Zemar. But it was 
too late : along with Arka it had already been occu- 
pied by Ebed-Asherah, who thereupon writes to the 


Pharaoh, protesting his loyalty to Khu-n-Aten, de- 
claring that he is "the house-dog" of the king, and 
that he guards the land of the Amorites for "the 
king " his lord. He further calls on the Egyptian 
commissioner Pakhanate, who had been ordered to 
visit him, to bear witness that he was "defending" 
Zemar and its fields for the king. That Pakhanate 
was friendly to Ebed-Asherah may be gathered from 
a despatch of Rib-Hadad, in which he accuses that 
officer of refusing to send any troops to the relief of 
Gebal, and of looking on while Zemar fell. Ebed- 
Asherah goes on to beg the king to come himself, 
and see with his own eyes how faithful a governor he 
really was. 

The letters of Abimelech of Tyre told a different 
tale, and the unfortunate Pharaoh might well be 
excused if he was as much puzzled as we are to 
know on which side the truth lay, or whether in- 
deed it lay on either. Abimelech had a grievance 
of his own. As soon as Zimridi of Siron learned that 
he had been appointed governor of Tyre, he seized 
the neighbouring city of Usu, which seems to have 
occupied the site of Palaetyros on the mainland, 
thereby depriving the Tyrians of their supplies of 
wood, food, and fresh water. The city of Tyre was 
at the time confined to a rocky island, to which pro- 
visions and water had to be conveyed in boats. Hence 
the hostile occupation of the town on the mainland 
caused many of its inhabitants to die of want. To 
add to their difficulties, the city was blockaded by the 
combined fleet of Sidon, Arvad, and Aziru. The 
king of Sidon seems to have fled to Tyre for pro- 
tection, while Abimelech reports that the king of 
Hazor had joined the Beduin under Ebed-Asherah 


and his sons. It may be noted that a letter of this 
very king of Hazor has been preserved, as well as 
another from Ebed-Sullin, the Egyptian governor 
of the city, whose powers were co-extensive with those 
of the king. 

Soon afterwards, however, the Sidonian ships were 
compelled to retreat, and the Tyrian governor made 
ready to pursue them. Meanwhile he sent his mes- 
senger Elimelech to Khu-n-Aten with various pre- 
sents, and gave the king an" account of what had been 
happening in "Canaan." The Hittite troops had 
departed, but Etagama — elsewhere called Aidhu-gama 
— the pa-ur or "prince" of Kadesh, in the land of 
Kinza, had joined Aziru in attacking Namya-waza, 
the governor of Kumidi. Abimelech adds that his 
rival Zimridi of Sidon had collected ships and men 
from the cities of Aziru against him, and had con- 
sequently defeated him, but if the Pharaoh would send 
only four companies of troops to his rescue all would 
be well. 

Zimridi, however, was not behindhand in forward- 
ing his version of events to the Egyptian court, and 
assuring the king of his unswerving fidelity. "Verily 
the king my lord knows," he says, "that the queen 
of the city of Sidon is the handmaid of the king my 
lord, who has given her into my hand, and that I 
have hearkened to the words of the king my lord that 
he would send to his servant, and my heart rejoiced 
and my head was exalted, and my eyes were enlight- 
ened, and my ears heard the words of the king my 
lord. . . . And the king my lord knows that hostility 
is very strong against me; all the [fortresses] which 
the king gave into [my hand] had revolted " to the 
Beduin, but had been retaken by the commander of 


the Egyptian forces. The letter throws a wholly 
different light on the relations of the two rival parties 
in Phoenicia. 

The assertions of Rib-Hadad, however, are sup- 
ported by those of his successor in the government of 
Gebal, El-rabi-Hor. Rib-Hadad himself disappears 
from the scene. He may have died, for he complains 
that he is old and sick ; he may have been driven out 
of Gebal, for in one of his despatches he states that 
the city was inclined to revolt, while in another he 
tells us that even his own brother had turned against 
him and gone over to the Amorite faction. Or he 
may have been displaced from his post; at all events, 
we hear that the Pharaoh had written to him, saying 
that Gebal was rebellious, and that there was a large 
amount of royal property in it. We hear also that 
Rib-Hadad had sent his son to the Egyptian court to 
plead his cause there, alleging age and infirmities as 
a reason for not going himself. However it may have 
been, we find a new governor in Gebal, who bears the 
hybrid name of El-rabi-Hor, "a great god is Horus." 

His first letter is to protest against Khu-n-Aten's 
mistrust of Gebal, which he calls "thy city and the 
city of [thy] fathers," and to assert roundly that 
"Aziru is in rebellion against the king my lord." 
Aziru had been massacring the kings of Ni, Arvad, 
and Ammiya (the Beni-Ammo of Num. xxii. 5), 1 and 
with the help of his Amorite forces was destroying 
the cities of the Pharaoh. So El-rabi-Hor asks the 
king not to heed anything the rebel may write about 
his seizure of Zemar or his massacre of the royal 
governors, but to send some troops to himself for the 
defence of Gebal. In a second letter he reiterates his 
1 See above, p. 55. 



charges against Aziru, who had now "smitten " Adon, 
the king of Arka, and possessed himself of Zemar and 
the other towns of Phoenicia, so that Gebal "alone" 
is on the side of the king, who "looks on" without 
doing anything. Moreover a fresh enemy had arisen 
in the person of Eta-gama of Kadesh, who had joined 
himself with the king of the Hittites and the king 
of Naharaim. 

Letters to Khu-n-Aten from Akizzi, the governor 
of Qatna, which, as we learn from the inscriptions of 
Assur-natsir-pal, was situated on the Khabur, repre- 
sent Aziru in the same light. First of all, the Egyptian 
government is informed that the king of the Hittites, 
together with Aidhu-gama (or Eta-gama) of Kadesh 
has been invading Egyptian territory, burning its 
cities, and carrying away from Qatna the image of 
the Sun-god. Khu-n-Aten, it is urged, could not 
allow the latter crime to go unpunished. The Sun- 
god had created him and his father, and had caused 
them to be called after his own name. He was the 
supreme object of the Pharaoh's worship, the deity for 
whose sake Khu-n-Aten had deserted Thebes. 

The Hittite king had been joined in his invasion 
of Syria by the governors of some otherwise unknown 
northern cities, but the kings of Nukhasse, Ni, Zinzar 
(the Sonzar of the Egyptian texts), and Tunanat (a 
place otherwise unknown) remained faithful to the 
Egyptian monarch. The rebel governors, however, 
were in the land of Ube, — the Aup of the hiero- 
glyphics, — which they were urging Aidhu-gama to 

Another letter brings Aziru upon the scene. He 
is accused of having invaded the land of Nukhasse, 
and made prisoners of the people of Qatna. The 


Pharaoh is prayed to rescue or ransom them, and to 
send chariots and soldiers to the help of his Meso- 
potamian subjects. If they come all the lands round 
about will acknowledge him as lord, and he will be 
lord also of Nukhasse ; if they do not come, the men 
of Qatna will be forced to obey Aziru. 

It is probable that the misdeeds of Aziru which 
are here referred to were committed at the time he 
was in Tunip, professedly protecting it against Hit- 
tite attack. It would seem from what Akizzi says, 
that instead of faithfully performing his mission, he 
had aimed at establishing his own power in Northern 
Syria. While nominally an officer of the Pharaoh, 
he was really seeking to found an Amorite kingdom 
in the north. In this he would have been a pre- 
decessor of Og and Sihon, whose kingdoms were 
built up on the ruins of the Egyptian empire. 

A despatch, however, from Namya-waza, the 
governor of Kumidi, sets the conduct of Aziru in a 
more favourable light. It was written at a some- 
what later time, when rebellion against the Egyptian 
authority was spreading throughout Syria. A certain 
Biridaswa had stirred up the city of Inu'am, and 
after shutting its gate upon Namya-waza had entered 
the city of Ashtaroth-Karnain in Bashan, and there 
seized the chariots belonging to the Pharaoh, hand- 
ing them over to the Beduin. He then joined the 
kings of Buzruna (now Bosra) and Khalunni (near 
the Wadi 'Allan), in a plot to murder Namya-waza, 
who escaped, however, to Damascus, though his own 
brothers turned against him. The rebels next attacked 
Aziru, captured some of his soldiers, and in league 
with Etu-gama wasted the district of Abitu. Etak- 
kama, however, as Eru-gama spells his own name, 

H 2 


professed to be a loyal servant of the Egyptian king, 
and one of the Tel el-Amarna letters is from him. 

We next hear of Namya-waza in Accho or Acre, 
where he had taken refuge with Suta, or Seti, the 
Egyptian commissioner. Seti had already been in 
Jerusalem, and had been inquiring there into the 
behaviour of Ebed-Kheba. 

The picture of incipient anarchy and rebellion 
which is set before us by the correspondence from 
Phoenicia and Syria is repeated in that from the 
centre and south of Palestine. In the centre the chief 
seats of the Egyptian government were at Megiddo, 
at Khazi (the Gaza of i Chron. vii. 28), near Shechem, 
and at Gezer. Each of these towns was under an 
Egyptian governor, specially appointed by the 

The governor of Khazi bore the name of Suyarzana, 
Megiddo was under the authority of Biridi, while the 
governor of Gaza was Yapakhi. There are several 
letters in the Tel el-Amarna collection from the latter 
official, chiefly occupied with demands for help against 
his enemies. The district under his control was 
attacked by the Sute or Beduin, led by a certain 
Labai or Labaya and his sons. Labai, though of 
Hittite origin, was himself professedly an Egyptian 
official, the Egyptian policy having been to give the 
title of governor to the foreign mercenary leaders, and 
to attach them to the Egyptian goverment by the com- 
bined influence of bribery and fear. Labai accord- 
ingly writes to the Pharaoh to defend himself against 
the charges that had been brought against him, and 
to assure Khu-n-Aten that he was "a faithful servant 
of the king"; "I have not sinned, and I have not 
offended, and I do not withhold my tribute or neglect 


the command to turn back my officers." Labai, it 
would seem, had been appointed by Amenophis III. 
governor of Shunem and Beneberak (Josh. xix. 45), 
and had captured the city of Gath-Rimmon when it 
revolted against the Pharaoh; but after the death of 
Amenophis he and his two sons had attacked the 
Egyptian officials in unblushing style, and had taken 
every opportunity of pillaging central and Southern 
Palestine. As we shall see, Labai and his ally, 
Malchiel, were among the chief adversaries of Ebed- 
Kheba of Jerusalem. 

On one occasion, however, Labai was actually made 
prisoner by one of the Egyptian officers. There is a 
letter from Biridi stating that Megiddo was threatened 
by Labai, and that although the garrison had been 
strengthened by the arrival of some Egyptian troops, 
it was impossible to venture outside the gates of the 
town for fear of the enemy, and that unless two more 
regiments were sent the city itself was likely to fall. 
Whether the additional forces were sent or not we do 
not know. Labai, however, had to fly for his life 
along with his confederate Yasdata, who was the 
governor of some city near Megiddo, as we learn from 
a letter of his in which he speaks of being with Biridi. 
Of Yasdata we hear nothing further, but Labai was 
captured in Megiddo by Zurata, the prefect of Acra, 
who, under the pretext that he was going to send his 
prisoner in a ship to Egypt, took him first to the town 
of Khinatuna ('En'athon), and then to his own house, 
where he was induced by a bribe to set him free along 
with his companion, Hadad-mekhir (who, by the way, 
has bequeathed to us two letters). 

It was probably after this that Labai wrote to the 
Pharaoh to exculpate himself, though his language, 


in spite of its conventional submissiveness, could not 
have been very acceptable at the Egyptian court. In 
one of his letters he excuses himself partly on the 
ground that even "the food of his stomach " had been 
taken from him, partly that he had attacked and en- 
tered Gezer only in order to recover the property of 
himself and his friend Malchiel, partly because a cer- 
tain Bin-sumya whom the Pharaoh had sent against 
him had really "given a city and property in it to 
my father, saying that if the king sends for my wife 
I shall withhold her, and if the king sends for myself 
I shall give him instead a bar of copper in a large 
bowl and take the oath of allegiance." A second 
letter is still more uncompromising. In this he com- 
plains that the Egyptian troops have ill-treated his 
people, and that the officer who is with him has 
slandered him before the king; he further declares 
that two of his towns have been taken from him, but 
that he will defend to the last whatever still remains 
of his patrimony. 

Malchiel, the colleague of Labai in his attack upon 
Gezer, as afterwards upon Ebed-Kheba of Jerusalem, 
does not appear to have been of foreign origin. But 
as long as the Hittite chief could be of use to him he 
was very willing to avail himself of his assistance, 
and it was always easy to drop the alliance as soon 
as it became embarrassing. Malchiel was the son- 
in-law of Tagi of Gath, and the colleague of Su- 
yardata, one of the few Canaanite governors whom 
the Egyptian government seems to have been able to 
trust. Both Su-yardata and Malchiel held commands 
in Southern Palestine, and we hear a good deal about 
them from Ebed-Kheba. "The two sons of Malchiel " 
are also mentioned in a letter from a lady who bears 


a Babylonian name, and who refers to them in con- 
nection with an attempt to detach the cities of Ajalon 
and Zorah (Josh. xv. 33) from their allegiance to 
Egypt. The female correspondents of the Pharaoh 
are among the most curious and interesting features 
of the state of society depicted in the Tel el-Amarna 
tablets; they entered keenly into the politics of the 
day, and kept the Egyptian king fully informed of all 
that was going on. 

The letters of Ebed-Kheba are so important that it 
is as well to give them in full. They all seem to have 
been written within a few months, or perhaps even 
weeks, of one another, when the enemies of the 
governor of Jerusalem were gathering around him, 
and no response came from Egypt to his requests for 
help. The dotted lines mark the words and passages 
which have been lost through the fracture of the clay 

(I.) "To the king my lord [my] Sun-god, thus 
[speaks] Ebed-Kheba thy servant : at the feet of the 
king my lord seven times seven I prostrate myself. 
Behold, the king has established his name at the 
rising of the sun and the setting of the sun. Slanders 
have been uttered against me. Behold, I am not a 
governor, a vassal of the king my lord. Behold, I am 
an ally of the king, and I have paid the tribute due 
to the king, even I. Neither my father nor my mother, 
but it was the arm of the Mighty King that estab- 
lished [me] in the house of [my] fathers. When . . . 
came to me I gave him as a present 10 slaves. Suta 
(Seti) the Commissioner of the king has come to me : 
21 female slaves and 80 male slaves captured in war 
have been given into the hands of Suta as a gift for 
the king my lord; let the king therefore care for his 


country. The country of the king is being destroyed, 
all of it. Hostilities are carried on against me as far 
as the mountains of Seir (Josh. xv. 10) and the city 
of Gath-Karmel (Josh. xv. 55). All the other 
governors are at peace, but there is war against 
myself, since I see the foe, but I do not see the eyes 
of the king my lord because war has been raised 
against me. When there was a ship in the midst of 
the sea, the arm of the Mighty King conquered the 
countries of Naharaim (Nakhrima) and Kapasi. But 
now the Confederates (Khabiri) are capturing the 
fortresses of the king. Not a single governor remains 
among them to the king my lord ; all have perished. 
Behold, Turbazu, thy military officer, [has fallen] in 
the great gate of the city of Zelah (Josh, xviii. 28). 
Behold, Zimrida of Lachish has been murdered by 
the servants who have revolted against the king. 
Jephthah-Hadad, thy military officer, has been slain 
in the great gate of Zelah. . . . May the king [my 
lord] send help [to his country] ! May the king turn 
his face to [his subjects] ! May he despatch troops 
to [his] country ! [Behold,] if no troops come this 
year, all the countries of the king my lord will be 
utterly destroyed. They do not say before the face 
of the king my lord that the country of the king my 
lord is destroyed, and that all the governors are 
destroyed, if no troops come this year. Let the king 
send a commissioner, and let him come to me, even 
to me, with auxiliary troops, and we will die with the 
king [our] lord. — [To] the secretary of the king my 
lord [speaks] Ebed-Kheba [thy] servant. At [thy] 
feet [I prostrate myself.] Let a report of [my] words 
be laid before the king [my] lord. Thy servant and 
son am I." 


(II.) "To the king my lord thus speaks Ebed- 
Kheba thy servant : at the feet of the king my lord 
seven times seven I prostrate myself. What have I 
done against the king my lord? They have slandered 
me, laying wait for me in the presence of the king, the 
lord, saying : Ebed-Kheba has revolted from the king 
his lord. Behold, neither my father nor my mother 
has established me in this place; the arm of the 
Mighty King has caused me to enter the house of 
my father. Why should I have committed a sin 
against the king the lord ? As long as the king my 
lord lives, I will say to the officer of the king [my] 
lord : Why dost thou love the Confederates and hate 
the governors ? And constantly I am sending to the 
presence of the king my lord to say that the countries 
of the king my lord are being destroyed. Constantly 
I am sending to the king my lord, and let the king 
my lord consider, since the king my lord has ap- 
pointed the men of the garrison which has been 

taken by Enkhamu Let the king 

send help to his country. [Let him send troops] to 
his country which protects the fortresses of the king 
my lord, all of them, since Elimelech is destroying 
all the country of the king; and let the king send 
help to his country. I have said I will go down along 
with the king my lord, and I will see the eyes of the 
king my lord ; but hostility is strong against me, and 
I am therefore not able to go down from (sic) the 
king my lord; and let the king incline towards my 
face; let him despatch a guard [for me], and let him 
appoint a commissioner (?), and I shall not see the 
eyes of the king my lord, since the king [my] lord 
shall live when the commissioner has departed. Be- 
hold, the countries of the king [my lord] are being 


destroyed, yet thou dost not listen to me. All the 
goverors are destroyed ; no governor remains to the 
king the lord. Let the king turn his face to his 
subjects, and let him send auxiliaries, even the troops 
of the king my lord. No provinces remain unto the 
king; the confederates have wasted all the provinces 
of the king. If auxiliaries come this year, the 
provinces of the king the lord will be preserved ; but 
if no auxiliaries come the provinces of the king my 
lord are destroyed. — [To] the secretary of the king my 
lord Ebed-Kheba [says:] Give a report of my words 
to the king my lord : the provinces of the king my 
lord are being destroyed by the enemy." 

(III.) "[To] the king my lord [speaks] Ebed-Kheba 
[thy] servant : [at the feet of the king] my lord seven 
[times seven I prostrate myself. Behold, let] the king 

[listen to] the words [of his servant] Let 

[the king] consider all the districts which are leagued 
in hostility against me, and let the king send help to 
his country. Behold, the country of the city of Gezer, 
the country of the city of Ashkelon and the city of 
Lafchish] have given to them ( ? the enemy) food and 
oil and whatsoever the fortress needs. And let the 
king send help to his troops ; let him despatch troops 
against the men who have rebelled against the king 
my lord. If troops come this year, there will remain 
both provinces [and] governors to the king my lord; 
[but] if no troops arrive, there will remain no provinces 
or governors to the king [my lord]. Behold, neither 
my father nor my mother has given this country of 
the city of Jerusalem unto me : it was the arm [of the 
Mighty King] that gave it to me, even to me. Behold, 
Malchiel and the sons of Labai have given the country 
of the king to the Confederates. Behold, the king 


my lord is righteous towards me. As to the Kasians, 
let the king ask the commissioner how very strong is 
the house. And they have committed a very great 
crime. They have taken their stores and ceased work- 
ing at the roofs. . . . Let the king demand of them 
abundance of food, abundance of oil, and abundance 
of clothes until Pa-ur, the commissioner of the king, 
comes up to the country of the city of Jerusalem to 
deliver Adai along with the garrison and the [rest of 
the people]. Let the king know that Adai the officer 
appointed by the king has said to me : Lo, let me go 
away, but do not you desert the city. Send to me a 
garrison [and] send a royal commissioner. Thy grace 
[is] to send [them]. To the king [my lord] I have 
despatched [a number of] prisoners [and a number 

of] slaves The caravans of the king were 

robbed in the fields of the city of Ajalon. I am not 
able to forward the caravans to the king my lord 
according to his instructions. Behold, the king has 
established his name in the country of Jerusalem for 
ever, and he cannot forsake the territories of the city 
of Jerusalem. — To the secretary of the king my lord 
thus speaks Ebed-Kheba thy servant. At thy feet 
I prostrate myself. Thy servant am I. Lay a report 
of my words before the king my lord. The vassal of 
the king am I. Mayest thou live long! — A wicked 
deed has been committed against me by the men of 
the land of Kas. I was within an ace of being slain 
by the Kasians in my own house. . . ." 

(IV.) "To the king my lord thus [speaks] Ebed- 
Kheba thy servant : at the feet of my lord [the king] 
seven times seven [I prostrate myself]. Behold Mal- 
chiel does not separate himself from the sons of 
Labaya [and] the sons of Arzaya to demand the 


country of the king for themselves. As for a gover- 
nor who acts thus, why does the king not question 
him ? Behold, Malchiel and Tagi are they who have 
acted so, since they have taken the city of Rubute 
(Rabbah, Josh. xv. 60), and now (they seek to take) 
Jerusalem. If this country is still the king's country 
why (is this), when Gaza is a garrison of the king? 
Behold the district of Gath-Carmel belongs to Tagi, 
and the men of Gath garrison Bit-Sani (Beth-Sannah), 
and we shall experience (the same fate) since they 
have given Labaya and the land of Shechem to the 
men of the district of the Confederates. Malchiel has 
sent to Tagi and has given two boy-slaves, all they 
wanted, to the men of Keilah. But we will deliver 
Jerusalem. The garrison which thou hast despatched 
under the command of Khaya the son of Meri-Ra, 
Addaya has taken, and he is dwelling in his house 
in Gaza, and has sent some men to Egypt. Let the 
king know that there is no garrison with me. This 
is so, as the king liveth. Pa-ur, his lieutenant, has 
run away from me; he is in Gaza. Let the king keep 
this in memory before him and send 50 guardsmen 
to protect the land. All the country of the king is in 
revolt. Send Yikhen-Khamu and let him consider 
the country of the king. To the secretary of the king 
[my lord] thus says Ebed-Kheba [thy] servant : 
Convey a clear report to the king. I am thy ever 
obedient servant." 

(V.) "[To] the king my lord thus speaks Ebed- 
Kheba thy servant : at the feet of the king my lord 
seven times seven I prostrate myself. [The king 
knows the deed] which they have done, even Malchiel 
and Su-ardatum, against the country of the king my 
lord, commanding the forces of the city of Gezer, the 


forces of the city of Gath, and the forces of the city 
of Keilah. They have seized the district of the city 
of Rabbah. The country of the king has gone over 
to the Confederates. And now at this moment the 
city of the mountain of Jerusalem, the city of the 
temple of the god Nin-ip is its name, the city of the 
king, is gone over to the side of the men of Keilah. 
Let the king listen to Ebed-Kheba thy servant, and 
let him despatch troops and restore the country of the 
king to the king. But if no troops arrive, the country 
of the king is gone over to the men even to the 
Confederates. This is the deed [of Su-ar]datum and 
Malchiel. . . ." 

The loyalty of Ebed-Kheba, however, seems to have 
been doubted at the Egyptian court, where more con- 
fidence was placed in his rival and enemy Su-ardata 
(or Su-yardata, as the owner of the name himself 
writes it). Possibly the claim of the vassal-king of 
Jerusalem to have been appointed to his royal office 
by the "Mighty King" rather than by the "great 
king " of Egypt, and consequently to be an ally of 
the Pharaoh and not an ordinary governor, may have 
had something to do with the suspicions that were 
entertained of him. At all events we learn from a 
letter of Su-yardata that the occupation of Keilah by 
Ebed-Kheba's enemies, of which the latter complains 
so bitterly, was due to the orders of the Egyptian 
government itself. Su-yardata there says — "The king 
[my lord] directed me to make war in the city of 
Keilah : war was made ; (and now) a complaint is 
brought against me. My city against myself has 
risen upon me. Ebed-Kheba sends to the men of the 
city of Keilah ; he sends silver, and they have marched 
against my rear. And the king knows that Ebed- 


Kheba has taken my city from my hand." The writer 
adds that " Labaya is dead, but Ebed-Kheba is become 
a second Labaya." In his subsequent despatches to 
the home government Su-yardata complains that he 
is "alone," and asks that troops should be sent to 
him, saying that he is forwarding some almehs or 
maidens as a present along with his "dragoman." 
At this point the correspondence breaks off. 

Malchiel and Tagi also write to the Pharaoh. 
According to Tagi the roads between Southern 
Palestine and Egypt were under the supervision and 
protection of his brother ; while Malchiel begs for 
cavalry to pursue and capture the enemy who had 
made war upon Su-yardata and himself, had seized 
"the country of the king," and threatened to slay 
his servants. He also complains of the conduct of 
Yankhamu, the High Commissioner, who had been 
ordered to inquire into the conduct of the governors 
in Palestine. Yankhamu, it seems, had seized Mal- 
chiel's property and carried off his wives and children. 
It was doubtless to this act of injustice that Labai 
alludes in his letter of exculpation. 

The territory of which Jerusalem was the capital 
extended southward as far as Carmel of Judah, Gath- 
Carmel as it is called by Ebed-Kheba, as well as in 
the geographical lists of Thothmes III., while on the 
west it reached to Keilah, Rabbah, and Mount Seir. 
No mention is made of Hebron either in the Tel 
el-Amarna letters or in the Egyptian geographical 
lists, which are earlier than the rise of the nineteenth 
dynasty. The town must therefore have existed under 
some other name, or have been in the hands of a 
power hostile to Egypt. 

The name of Hebron has the same origin as that 


of the Khabiri, who appear in Ebed-Kheba's letters 
by the side of Labaya, the Kasians, and Naharaim 
as the assailants of Jerusalem and its territory. The 
word means "Confederates," and occurs in the 
Assyrian texts; among other passages in a hymn 
published by Dr. B run now, where we read, istu pan 
khabiri-ya iptarsanni, "from the face of my associates 
he has cut me off." The word, however, is not 
Assyrian, as in that case it would have had a different 
form, but must have been borrowed from the Canaan- 
itish language of the west. 

Who the Khabiri or "Confederates" were has 
been disputed. Some scholars see in them Elamite 
marauders who followed the march of the Babylonian 
armies to Syria. This opinion is founded on the fact 
that the Khabiri are once mentioned as an Elamite 
tribe, and that in a Babylonian document a "Khabi- 
rite " (Khabird) is referred to along with a "Kassite" 
or Babylonian. Another view is that they are to be 
identified with Heber, the grandson of Asher (Gen. 
xlvi. 17), since Malchiel is said to be the brother of 
Heber, just as in the letters of Ebed-Kheba Malchiel 
is associated with the Khabiri. But all such identifica- 
tions are based upon the supposition that "Khabiri" 
is a proper name rather than a descriptive title. Any 
band of "Confederates" could be called Khabiri 
whether in Elam or in Palestine, and it does not 
follow that the two bands were the same. In the 
" Confederates " of Southern Canaan we have to look 
for a body of confederated tribes who made them- 
selves formidable to the governor of Jerusalem in the 
closing days of the Egyptian empire. 

It would seem that Elimelech, who of course was 
a different person from Malchiel, was their leader, 


and as Elimelech is a Canaanitish name, we may 
conclude that the majority of his followers were also 
of Canaanitish descent. The scene of their hostilities 
was to the south of Jerusalem. Gath-Carmel, Zelah, 
and Lachish are the towns mentioned in connection 
with their attempts to capture and destroy "the fort- 
resses of the king." "The country of the king " which 
had "gone over to the Confederates " was the territory 
over which Ebed-Kheba claimed rule, while the dis- 
trict occupied by Labaya and his Hittite followers 
was handed over "to the men of the district of the 
Confederates." The successes of the latter were 
gained through the intrigues of Malchiel and the sons 
of Labaya. 

All this leads us to the neighbourhood of Hebron, 
and suggests the question whether "the district of 
the Confederates " was not that of whfch Hebron, 
"the Confederacy," was the central meeting-place and 
sanctuary. Hebron has preserved its sacred character 
down to the present day ; it long disputed with Jeru- 
salem the claim of being the oldest and most hallowed 
shrine in Southern Palestine, and it was for many 
years the capital of Judah. Moreover, we know that 
"Hebron" was not the only name the city possessed. 
When Abram was "confederate" with the three 
Amorite chieftains it was known as Mamre (Gen. 
xiii. 1 8), and at a later day under the rule of the 
three sons of Anak it was called Kirjath-Arba. 

According to the Biblical narrative Hebron was at 
once Amorite, Hittite, and Canaanite. Here, there- 
fore, there was a confederation of tribes and races 
who would have met together at a common sanctuary. 
When Ezekiel says that Jerusalem was both Hittite 
and Amorite in its parentage, he may have been 


referring to its conquest and settlement by such a 
confederacy as that of Hebron. It is possible that 
Jerusalem was eventually captured by its enemies, and 
that the Jebusites of the Old Testament were the 
descendants of the Khabiri of the Tel el-Amarna 
letters.' In this case some of the "Confederates" may 
have been Hittite bands. 

But all this is speculation, which may or may not 
prove to be correct. All we can be sure of is that 
the Khabiri or "Confederates" had their seat in the 
southern part of Palestine, and that we need not go 
outside Canaan to discover who they were. Ebed- 
Kheba, at all events, carefully distinguishes them 
from either the Babylonians or the people of 

In his letters, as everywhere else in the Tel 
el-Amarna correspondence, the Babylonians are called 
Kassi or Kassites. The name is written differently 
in the cuneiform texts from that of the Ethiopians, 
the Kash of the hieroglyphic inscriptions. Both, 
however, are alike represented in Hebrew by Cush, 
and hence we have not only a Cush who is the brother 
of Mizraim, but also another Cush who is the father of 
Ximrod. The name of the latter takes us back to the 
age of the Tel el-Amarna tablets. 

Nahrima, or Xaharaim, was the name by which 
the kingdom of Mitanni was known to its Canaanite 
and Egyptian neighbours. Mitanni, in fact, was its 
capital, and it may be that Lutennu (or Lotan), as 
the Egyptians called Syria and Palestine, was but a 
mispronunciation of it. Along with the Babylonians 
the people of Xaharaim had made themselves formid- 
able to the inhabitants of Canaan, and their name was 
feared as far south as Jerusalem. Even the governor 


of the Canaanite town of Musikhuna, not far from the 
Sea of Galilee, bore the Mitannian name of Sutarna. 
It was not, indeed, until after the Israelitish conquest 
that the last invasion of Canaan by a king of Aram- 
Naharaim took place. 

Gaza and Joppa were at one time under the same 
governor, Yabitiri, who in a letter which has come 
down to us asks to be relieved of the burden of his 
office. Ashkelon, however, which lay between the two 
seaports, was in the hands of another prefect, Yidya 
by name, from whom we have several letters, in one 
of which mention is made of the Egyptian commis- 
sioner Rianap, or Ra-nofer. The jurisdiction of 
Rianap extended as far north as the plain of Megiddo, 
since he is also referred to by Pu-Hadad, the governor 
of Yurza, now Yerzeh, south-eastward of Taanach. 
But it was more particularly in the extreme south of 
Palestine that the duties of this officer lay. Hadad- 
dan, who was entrusted with the government of Mana- 
hath and Tamar, to the west of the Dead Sea, calls 
him "my Commissioner" in a letter in which he 
complains of the conduct of a certain Beya, the son 
of "the woman Gulat." Hadad-dan begins by saying 
that he had protected the commissioner and cities of 
the king, and then adds that "the city of Tumur is 
hostile to me, and I have built a house in the city 
of Mankhate, so that the household troops of the king 
my lord may be sent to me ; and lo, Baya has taken 
it from my hand, and has placed his commissioner in 
it, and I have appealed to Rianap, my commissioner, 
and he has restored the city unto me, and has sent the 
household troops of the king my lord to me." After 
this the writer goes on to state that Beya had also 
intrigued against the city of Gezer, "the handmaid of 


the king my lord who created me." The rebel then 
carried off a quantity of plunder, and it became neces- 
sary to ransom his prisoners for a hundred pieces of 
silver, while those of his confederate were ransomed 
for thirty pieces of silver. 

The misdeeds of Beya or Baya did not end here. 
We hear of him again as attacking and capturing a 
body of soldiers who had been sent to defend the 
royal palace at Joppa, and as occupying that city 
itself. He was, however, subsequently expelled from 
it by the king's orders. Beya, too, professed to be 
an Egyptian governor and a faithful servant of the 
Pharaoh, to whom he despatched a letter to say that 
Yankhamu, the High Commissioner, was not in his 
district. Probably this was in answer to a charge 
brought against him by the Egyptian officer. 

The official duties of Yankhamu extended over the 
whole of Palestine, and all the governors of its cities 
were accountable to him. We find him exercising 
his authority not only in the south, but also in the 
north, at Zemar and Gebal, and even among the 
Amorites. Amon-apt, to whom the superintendence 
of Phoenicia was more particularly entrusted, was 
supplied by him with corn, and frequent references are 
made to him in the letters of Rib-Hadad. Malchiel 
complained of his high-handed proceedings, and the 
complaint seems to have led to some confidential 
inquiries on the part of the home government, since 
we find a certain Sibti-Hadad writing in answer to 
the Pharaoh's questions that Yankhamu was a faithful 
servant of the king. 

The country east of the Jordan also appears to have 
been within his jurisdiction. At all events the follow- 
ing letter was addressed to him by the governor Mut- 
1 2 


Hadad, "the man of Hadad." "To Yankhamu my 
lord thus speaks Mut-Hadad thy servant : at the feet 
of my lord I prostrate myself. Since Mut-Hadad has 
declared in thy presence that Ayab has fled, and it 
is certified (?) that the king of Bethel has fled from 
before the officers of the king his lord, may the king 
my lord live, may the king my lord live ! I pray 
thee ask Ben-enima, ask Tadua, ask Yasuya, if Ayab 
has been in this city of Bethel for [the last] two 
months. Ever since the arrival ( ?) of Sulma-Mero- 
dach, the city of Astarti (Ashtaroth-Karnaim) has been 
assisted, because all the fortresses of the foreign land 
are hostile, namely, the cities of Udumu (Edom), 
Aduri (Addar), Araru, Mestu (Mosheh), Magdalim 
(Migdol), Khinianabi ('En han-nabi), Zarki ; taken 
are Khaini ('En) and Ibilimma (Abel). Again after 
thou hadst sent a letter to me I sent to him (i. e. Ayab), 
[to wait] until thy arrival from thy journey ; and he 
reached the city of Bethel and [there] they heard the 

We learn from this letter that Edom was a "foreign 
country " unsubdued by the Egyptian arms. The 
"city of Edom," from which the country took its name, 
is again mentioned in the inscriptions of the Assyrian 
king Esar-haddon, and it was there that the Assyrian 
tax-gatherers collected the tribute of the Edomite 
nation. It would seem that the land of Edom 
stretched further to the north in the age of Khu-n- 
Aten than it did at a subsequent period of history, 
and that it encroached upon what was afterwards the 
territory of Moab. The name of the latter country 
is met with for the first time among the Asiatic 
conquests of Ramses II. engraved on the base of 
one of the colossal figures which stand in front of 


the northern pylon of the temple of Luxor; when 
the Tel el-Amarna letters were written Moab was 
included in the Canaanite province of Egypt. 

A curious letter to Khu-n-Aten from Burna-buryas, 
the Babylonian king, throws a good deal of light 
on the nature of the Egyptian government in Canaan. 
Between the predecessors of the two monarchs there 
had been alliance and friendly intercourse, and never- 
theless the Canaanitish subjects of the Pharaoh had 
committed an outrageous crime against some Baby- 
lonian merchants, which if left unpunished would 
have led to a rupture between the two countries. The 
merchants in question had entered Palestine under 
the escort of the Canaanite Ahitub, intending after- 
wards to visit Egypt. At fin-athon, near Acre, how- 
ever, "in the country of Canaan," Sum-Adda, or 
Shem-Hadad, the son of Balumme (Balaam), and 
Sutatna, or Zid-athon, the son of Saratum, 1 who was 
governor of Acre, set upon them, killing some of 
them, maltreating others, and carrying away their 
goods. Burna-buryas therefore sent a special envoy, 
who was instructed to lay the following complaint 
before the Pharaoh : "Canaan is thy country and the 
king [of Acre is thy servant]. In thy country I have 
been injured ; do thou punish [the offenders]. The 
silver which they carried off was a present [for thee], 
and the men who are my servants they have slain. 
Slay them and requite the blood [of my servants]. 
But if thou dost not put these men to death, [the 
inhabitants] of the high-road that belongs to me will 
turn and verily will slay thy ambassadors, and a 
breach will be made in the agreement to respect the 

1 His name is written Zurata in the letter of Biridi, the governor 
of Megiddo ; see above, p. 117. 


persons of ambassadors, and I shall be estranged 
from thee. Shem-Hadad, having cut off the feet of 
one of my men, has detained him with him ; and as 
for another man, Sutatna of Acre made him stand 
upon his head and then stood upon his face." 

There are three letters in the Tel el-Amarna col- 
lection from Sutatna, or Zid-atna ("the god Zid has 
given ") as he writes his name, in one of which he 
compares Akku or Acre with "the city of Migdol in 
Egypt." Doubtless satisfaction was given to the 
Babylonian king for the wrong that had been done 
to his subjects, though whether the actual culprits 
were punished may be questioned. There is another 
letter from Burna-buryas, in which reference is again 
made to the Canaanites. He there asserts that in 
the time of his father, Kuri-galzu, they had sent to 
the Babylonian sovereign, saying: "Let us go down 
to the frontier and rebel." Kuri-galzu, however, had 
refused to listen to them, telling them that if they 
wanted to break away from the Egyptian king and ally 
themselves "with another," they must find some one 
else to assist them. Burna-buryas goes on to declare 
that he was like-minded with his father, and had 
accordingly despatched an Assyrian vassal to assure 
the Pharaoh that he would carry on no intrigues with 
disaffected Canaanites. As the first part of his letter 
is filled with requests for gold for the adornment of a 
temple he was building at Babylon, such an assurance 
was very necessary. The despatches of Rib-Hadad 
and Ebed-Kheba, however, go to show that in spite 
of his professions of friendship, the Babylonian 
monarch was ready to afford secret help to the insur- 
gents in Palestine. The Babylonians were not likely 
to forget that they had once been masters of the 


country, or to regard the Egyptian empire in Asia 
with other than jealous eyes. 

The Tel el-Amarna correspondence breaks off 
suddenly in the midst of a falling empire, with its 
governors in Canaan fighting and intriguing one 
against the other, and appealing to the Pharaoh for 
help that never came. The Egyptian commissioners 
are vainly endeavouring to restore peace and order, 
like General Gordon in the Soudan, while Baby- 
lonians and Mitannians, Hittites and Beduin are 
assailing the distracted province. The Asiatic empire 
of the eighteenth dynasty, however, did not wholly 
perish with the death of Khu-n-Aten. A picture in 
the tomb of prince Hui at Thebes shows that under 
the reign of his successor, Tut-ankh-Amon, the 
Egyptian supremacy was still acknowledged in some 
parts of Syria. The chiefs of the Lotan or Syrians 
are represented in their robes of many colours, some 
with white and others with brown skins, and coming 
before the Egyptian monarch with the rich tribute of 
their country. Golden trays full of precious stones, 
vases of gold and silver, the covers of which are in 
the form of the heads of gazelles and other animals, 
golden rings richly enamelled, horses, lions, and a 
leopard's skin — such are the gifts which they offer to 
the Pharaoh. It was the last embassy of the kind 
which was destined to come from Syria for many a 

With the rise of the nineteenth dynasty and the 
restoration of a strong government at home, the 
Egyptians once more began to turn their eyes towards 
Palestine. Seti I. drove the Beduin before him from 
the frontiers of Egypt to those of "Canaan," and 
established a line of fortresses and wells along "the 


way of the Philistines," which ran by the shore of 
the Mediterranean to Gaza. The road was now open 
for him to the north along the sea-coast. We hear 
accordingly of his capture of Acre, Tyre, and Usu 
or Palaetyros, from whence he marched into the 
Lebanon and took Kumidi and Inu'am. One of his 
campaigns must have led him into the interior of 
Palestine, since in his list of conquered cities we find 
the names of Carmel and Beth-anoth, of Beth-el and 
Pahil or Pella, as well as of Oamham or Chimham (see 
Jer. xli. 17). Kadesh, "in the land of the Amorites," 
was captured by a sudden assault, and Seti claims to 
have defeated or received the submission of Alasiya 
and Naharaim, the Hittites and the Assyrians, Cyprus 
and Sangar. It would seem, however, that north of 
Kadesh he really made his way only along the coast 
as far as the Gulf of Antioch and Cilicia, overrunning 
towns and districts of which we know little more than 
the names. 

Seti was succeeded by his son Ramses II., the 
Pharaoh of the Oppression and the builder of Pithom 
and Ramses. His long reign of sixty-seven years 
lasted from 1348 B.C. to 1281 B.C. The first twenty- 
one years of it were occupied in the re-conquest of 
Palestine, and sanguinary wars with the Hittites. But 
these mountaineers of the north had established them- 
selves too firmly in the old Egyptian province of 
Northern Syria to be dislodged. All the Pharaoh 
could effect was to stop their further progress towards 
the south and to save Canaan from their grasp. The 
war between the two great powers of Western Asia 
ended at last through the sheer exhaustion of the rival 
combatants. A treaty of alliance, offensive and 
defensive, was drawn up between Ramses II. and 


Khatu-sil, "the great king of the Hittites," and it 
was cemented by the marriage of the Pharaoh to the 
daughter of the Hittite prince. Syria was divided 
between the Hittites and Egyptians, and it was agreed 
that neither should under any pretext invade the 
territories of the other. It was also agreed that if 
either country was attacked by foreign foes or 
rebellious subjects, the other should come to its help. 
Political refugees, moreover, were to be delivered up 
to the sovereign from whom they had escaped, but 
it was stipulated that in this case they should receive 
a full pardon for the offences they had committed. 
The Hittite copy of the treaty was engraved on a 
silver plate, and the gods of Egypt and the Hittites 
were called upon to witness the execution of it. 

The legendary exploits of Sesostris, that creation 
of Greek fancy and ignorance, were fastened upon 
Ramses II., whose long reign, inordinate vanity, and 
ceaseless activity as a builder made him one of the 
most prominent of the old Pharaohs. It was natural, 
therefore, at the beginning of hieroglyphic decipher- 
ment that the Greek accounts should be accepted in 
full, and that Ramses II. should have been regarded 
as the greatest of Egyptian conquerors. But further 
study soon showed that, in this respect at least, his 
reputation had little to support it. Like his monu- 
ments, too many of which are really stolen from his 
predecessors, or else sacrifice honesty of work to haste 
and pretentiousness, a large part of the conquests and 
victories that have been claimed for him was due to 
the imagination of the scribes. In the reaction which 
followed on this discovery, the modern historians of 
ancient Egypt were disposed to dispute his claim to 
be a conqueror at all. But we now know that such a 


scepticism was exaggerated, and though Ramses II. 
was not a conqueror like Thothmes III., he never- 
theless maintained and extended the Asiatic empire 
which his father had recovered, and the lists of van- 
quished cities which he engraved on the walls of his 
temples were not mere repetitions of older catalogues, 
or the empty fictions of flattering chroniclers. Egyptian 
armies really marched once more into Northern Syria 
and the confines of Cilicia, and probably made their 
way to the banks of the Euphrates. We have no 
reason for denying that Assyrian troops may have 
been defeated by his arms, or that the king of Mitanni 
may have sent an embassy to his court. And we now 
have a good deal more than the indirect evidence of 
the treaty with the Hittites to show that Canaan was 
again a province of the Egyptian empire. The names 
of some of its cities which were captured in the early 
part of the Pharaoh's reign may still be read on the 
walls of the Ramesseum at Thebes. Among them are 
Ashkelon, Shalam or Jerusalem, Merom and Beth- 
Anath, which were taken by storm in his eighth 
year. Dapul, "in the land of the Amorites," was 
captured at the same time, proving that the Egyptian 
forces penetrated as far as the Hittite frontiers. At 
Luxor other Canaanite names figure in the catalogue 
of vanquished states. Thus we have Carmel of Judah, 
Ir-shemesh and Hadashah (Josh. xv. 37), Gaza, Sela 
and Jacob-el, Socho, Yurza, and Korkha in Moab. 
The name of Moab itself appears for the first time 
among the subject nations, while we gather from a 
list of mining settlements that Cyprus as well as the 
Sinaitic peninsula was under Egyptian authority. 

A sarcastic account of the misadventures of a 
military officer in Palestine, which was written jn 


the time of Ramses, is an evidence of the complete 
occupation of that country by the Egyptians. All 
parts of Canaan are alluded to in it, and as Dr. Max 
Miiller has lately pointed out, we find in it for the 
first time the names of Shechem and Kirjath-Sepher. 
Similar testimony is borne by a hieroglyphic inscrip- 
tion recently discovered by Dr. Schumacher on the 
so-called "Stone of Job " in the Hauran. The stone 
(Sakhrat 'Ayyub) is a monolith westward of the Sea 
of Galilee, and not far from Tel 'Ashtereh, the ancient 
Ashtaroth-Karnaim, which was a seat of Egyptian 
government in the time of Khu-n-Aten. The monolith 
is adorned with Egyptian sculptures and hieroglyphs. 
One of the sculptures represents a Pharaoh above 
whose likeness is the cartouche of Ramses II., while 
opposite the king, to the left, is the figure of a god 
who wears the crown of Osiris, but has a full face. 
Over the god is his name in hieroglyphics. The 
name, however, is not Egyptian, but seems to be 
intended for the Canaanite Yakin-Zephon or "Yakin 
of the North." It is plain, therefore, that we have 
here a monument testifying to the rule of Ramses II., 
but a monument which was erected by natives of 
the country to a native divinity. For a while the 
hieroglyphic writing of Egypt had taken the place 
formerly occupied by the cuneiform syllabary of 
Babylonia, and Egyptian culture had succeeded in 
supplanting that which had come from the East. 

The nineteenth dynasty ended even more dis- 
astrously than the eighteenth. It is true that the 
great confederacy of northern and Libyan tribes 
which attacked Egypt by sea and land in the reign 
of Meneptah, the son and successor of Ramses II., 
was successfully repulsed, but the energy of the 


Egyptian power seemed to exhaust itself in the effort. 
The throne fell into the hands of usurpers, and the 
house of Ramses was swept away by civil war and 
anarchy. The government was seized by a Syrian, 
Arisu by name, and for a time Egypt was compelled 
to submit to a foreign yoke. The overthrow of the 
foreigner and the restoration of the native monarchy 
was due to the valour of Set-nekht, the founder of the 
twentieth dynasty and the father of Ramses III. 

It was under one of the immediate successors of 
Ramses II. that the exodus of the Israelites out of 
Egypt must have taken place. Egyptian tradition 
pointed to Meneptah ; modern scholars are inclined 
to be of the same opinion. With this event the 
patriarchal history of Canaan ought properly to come 
to an end. But the Egyptian monuments still cast 
light upon it, and enable us to carry it on almost to 
the moment when Joshua and his followers entered 
the Promised Land. 

Palestine still formed part of the kingdom of 
Meneptah, at all events in the earlier years of his 
reign. A scribe has left us a record of the officials 
who passed to and from Canaan through the frontier 
fortress of Zaru during the middle of the month 
Pakhons in the third year of the king. One of these 
was Loy or Levi, the son of Zippor of Gaza, who 
carried a letter for the Egyptian captain of the Syrian 
or Egyptian infantry, as well as another for Baalat- 
romgu, the vassal-prince of Tyre. Another messenger 
was Sutekh-mes, the son of 'Aper-dagal, who also 
carried a despatch to the captain of the infantry, while 
a third envoy came in the reverse direction, from the 
city of Meneptah, "in the land of the Amorites." 

In the troubles which preceded the accession of the 


twentieth dynasty the Asiatic possessions of Egypt 
were naturally lost, and were never again recovered. 
Ramses III., however, the last of the conquering 
Pharaohs, made at least one campaign in Palestine 
and Syria. Like Meneptah, he had to bear the brunt 
of an attack upon Egypt by the confederated hordes 
of the north which threatened to extinguish its civiliza- 
tion altogether. The nations of Asia Minor and the 
Aigean Sea had poured into Syria as the Northern 
barbarians in later days poured into the provinces of 
the Roman Empire. Partly by land, partly by sea, 
they made their way through Phoenicia and the land 
of the Hittites, destroying everything as they went, 
and carrying in their train the subjugated princes of 
Xaharaim and Kadesh. For a time they encamped 
in the "land of the Amorites," and then pursued their 
southward march. Ramses III. met them on the 
north-eastern frontier of his kingdom, and in a fiercely 
contested battle utterly overthrew them. The ships 
of the invaders were captured or sunk, and their forces 
on land were decimated. Immense quantities of booty 
and prisoners were taken, and the shattered forces of 
the enemy retreated into Syria. There the Philistines 
and Zakkal possessed themselves of the sea-coast, and 
garrisoned the cities of the extreme south. Gaza 
ceased to be an Egyptian fortress, and became instead 
an effectual barrier to the Egyptian occupation of 

When Ramses III. followed the retreating invaders 
of his country into Syria, it is doubtful whether the 
Philistines had as yet settled themselves in their future 
home. At all events Gaza fell into his hands, and he 
found no difficulty in marching along the Mediter- 
ranean coast like the conquering Pharaohs who had 


preceded him. In his temple palace at Medinet Habu 
he has left a record of the conquests that he made in 
Syria. The great cities of the coast were untouched. 
No attempt was made to besiege or capture Tyre and 
Sidon, Beyrout and Gebal, and the Egyptian army 
marched past them, encamping on the way only at 
such places as "the headland of Carmel," "the source 
of the Magoras," or river of Beyrout, and the Bor 
or "Cistern." Otherwise its resting-places were at 
unknown villages like Inzath and Lui-el. North of 
Beyrout it struck eastward through the gorge of the 
Nahr el-Kelb, and took the city of Kumidi. Then it 
made its way by Shenir or Hermon to Hamath, which 
surrendered, and from thence still northward to "the 
plain " of Aleppo. 

In the south of Palestine, in what was afterwards 
the territory of Judah, Ramses made yet another cam- 
paign. Here he claims to have taken Lebanoth and 
Beth-Anath, Carmel of Judah and Shebtin, Jacob-el 
and Hebron, Libnah and Aphek, Migdal-gad and 
Ir-Shemesh, Hadashah and the district of Salem or 
Jerusalem. From thence the Egyptian forces pro- 
ceeded to the Lake of Reshpon or the Dead Sea, 
and then crossing the Jordan seized Korkha in Moab. 
But the campaign was little more than a raid; it 
left no permanent results behind it, and all traces of 
Egyptian authority disappeared with the departure of 
the Pharaoh's army. Canaan remained the prey of the 
first resolute invader who had strength and courage 
at his back. 



Abraham had been born in "Ur of the Chaldees." 
Ur lay on the western side of the Euphrates in 
Southern Babylonia, where the mounds of Muqayyar 
or Mugheir mark the site of the great temple that 
had been reared to the worship of the Moon-god 
long before the days of the Hebrew patriarch. Here 
Abraham had married, and from hence he had gone 
forth with his father to seek a new home in the 
west. Their first resting-place had been Harran in 
Mesopotamia, on the high-road to Syria and the 
Mediterranean. The name of Harran, in fact, signi- 
fied "road " in the old language of Chaldaea, and for 
many ages the armies and merchants of Babylonia 
had halted there when making their way towards 
the Mediterranean. Like Ur, it was dedicated to the 
worship of Sin, the Moon-god, and its temple rivalled 
in fame and antiquity that of the Babylonian city, 
and had probably been founded by a Babylonian 

At Harran, therefore, Abraham would still have 
been within the limits of Babylonian influence and 
culture, if not of Babylonian government as well. 
He would have found there the same religion as that 
which he had left behind him in his native city; the 
same deity was adored there, under the same name 


and with the same rites. He was indeed on the 
road to Canaan, and among an Aramaean rather than 
a Babylonian population, but Babylonia with its 
beliefs and civilization had not as yet been forsaken. 
Even the language of Babylonia was known in his 
new home, as is indicated by the name of the city 

Harran and Mesopotamia were not the goal of 
the future father of the Israelitish people. He was 
bidden to seek elsewhere another country and another 
kindred. Canaan was the land which God promised 
to "show" to him, and it was in Canaan that his 
descendants were to become "a great nation." He 
went forth, accordingly, "to go into the land of 
Canaan, and into the land of Canaan he came." 

But even in Canaan Abraham was not beyond the 
reach of Babylonian influence. As we have seen in 
the last chapter, Babylonian armies had already pene- 
trated to the shores of the Mediterranean, Palestine 
had been included within the bounds of a Babylonian 
empire, and Babylonian culture and religion had 
spread widely among the Canaanitish tribes. The 
cuneiform system of writing had made its way to 
Syria, and Babylonian literature had followed in its 
wake. Centuries had already passed since Sargon of 
Akkad had made himself master of the Mediterranean 
coast and his son Naram-Sin had led his forces to the 
Peninsula of Sinai. Istar of Babylonia had become 
Ashtoreth of the Canaanites, and Babylonian trade 
had long moved briskly along the very road that 
Abraham traversed. In the days of the patriarch 
himself the rulers of Babylonia claimed to be also 
rulers of Canaan ; for thirteen years did the Canaanite 
princes "serve" Chedor-laomer and his allies, the 


father of Arioch is also "the father of the land of 
the Amorites " in his son's inscriptions, and at a 
little later date the King of Babylon still claimed 
sovereignty over the west. 

It was not, therefore, to a strange and unexplored 
country that Abraham had migrated. The laws and 
manners to which he had been accustomed, the writing 
and literature which he had learned in the schools 
of Ur, the religious beliefs among which he had lived 
in Chaldsea and Harran, he found again in Canaan. 
The land of his adoption was full of Babylonian 
traders, soldiers, and probably officials as well, and 
from time to time he must have heard around him 
the language of his birthplace. The introduction 
into the west of the Babylonian literature and script 
brought with it a knowledge of the Babylonian 
language, and the knowledge is reflected in some of 
the local names of Palestine. The patriarch had not 
escaped beyond the control even of the Babylonian 
government. At times, at all events, the princes of 
Canaan were compelled to acknowledge the suzerainty 
of Chaldaea and obey the laws, as the Babylonians 
would have said, of "Anu and Dagon." 

The fact needs dwelling upon, partly because of 
its importance, partly because it is but recently that 
we have begun to realize it. It might indeed have 
been gathered from the narratives of Genesis, more 
especially from the account of Chedor-laomer's cam- 
paign, but it ran counter to the preconceived ideas 
of the modern historian, and never therefore took 
definite shape in his mind. It is one of the many 
gains that the decipherment of the cuneiform inscrip- 
tions has brought to the student of the Old Testament, 
and it makes us understand the story of Abraham's 


migration in a way that was never possible before. 
He was no wild nomad wandering in unknown 
regions, among a people of alien habits and foreign 
civilization. We know now why he took the road 
which we are told he followed; wily he was able to 
make allies among the inhabitants of Canaan ; why 
he understood their language and could take part in 
their social life. Like the Englishman who migrates 
to a British colony, Abraham was in contact with the 
same culture in Canaan and Chaldasa alike. 

But when he reached Canaan he was not yet 
Abraham. He was still "Abram the Hebrew," and 
it was as "Abram the Hebrew " that he made alliance 
with the Amorites of Mamre and overthrew the retreat- 
ing forces of the Babylonian kings. Abram is a name 
of the Amorites, settled in Babylonia, and is found in 
contracts of the age of Chedor-laomer. When the 
name was changed to Abraham, it was a sign that 
the Babylonian emigrant had become a native of the 

It was under the terebinth of Moreh before Shechem 
that Abraham first pitched his tent and erected his 
first altar to the Lord. Above him towered Ebal and 
Gerizim, where the curses and blessings of the Law 
were afterwards to be pronounced. From thence he 
moved southward to one of the hills westward of 
Beth-el, the modern Beitin, and there his second altar 
was built. While the first had been reared in the 
plain, the second was raised on the mountain-slope. 

But here, too, he did not remain long. Again he 
"journeyed, going on still towards the south." Then 
came a famine which obliged him to cross the frontier 
of Egypt, and visit the court of the Pharaoh. The 
Hyksos, kinsmen of the race to which he belonged, 


were ruling in the delta, and a ready welcome was 
given to the Asiatic stranger. He was "very rich in 
cattle, in silver and in gold," and, like a wealthy Arab 
sheikh to-day, was received with due honour in the 
Egyptian capital. The court of the Pharaoh was 
doubtless at Zoan. 

Among the possessions of the patriarch we are told 
were camels. The camel is not included among the 
Egyptian hieroglyphs, nor has it been found depicted 
on the walls of the Egyptian temples and tombs. 
The name is first met with in a papyrus of the time 
of the nineteenth dynasty, and is one of the many 
words which the Egyptians of that age borrowed from 
their Canaanitish neighbours. The animal, in fact, 
was not used by the Egyptians, and its domestication 
in the valley of the Nile seems to be as recent as the 
Arab conquest. But though it was not used by the 
Egyptians, it had been a beast of burden among 
the Semites of Arabia from an early period. In the 
primitive Sumerian language of Chaldaea it was called 
""the animal from the Persian Gulf," and its Semitic 
name, from which our own word camel is derived, 
goes back to the very beginnings of Semitic history. 
We cannot, therefore, imagine a Semitic nomad 
arriving in Egypt without the camel; travellers, 
indeed, from the cities of Canaan might do so, but 
not those who led a purely nomadic life. And, in 
fact, though we look in vain for a picture of the 
camel among the sculptures and paintings of Egypt, 
the bones of the animal have been discovered deep 
in the alluvial soil of the valley of the Nile. 

Abraham had to quit Egypt, and once more he 
traversed the desert of the "South" and pitched his 
tent near Beth-el. Here his nephew Lot left him, and, 
k 2 


dissatisfied with the life of a wandering Bedawi, took 
up his abode in the city of Sodom at the northern 
end of the Dead Sea. While Abraham kept himself 
separate from the natives of Canaan, Lot thus became 
one of them, and narrowly escaped the doom which 
afterwards fell upon the cities of the plain. In for- 
saking the tent, he forsook not only the free life of the 
immigrant from Chalda;a, but the God of Abraham as 
well. The inhabitant of a Canaanitish city passed 
under the influence of its faith and worship, its morals 
and manners, as well as its laws and government. 
He ceased to be an alien and stranger, of a different 
race and fatherland, and with a religion and customs 
of his own. He could intermarry with the natives of 
his adopted country and participate in their sacred 
rites. Little by little his family became merged in 
the population that surrounded him ; its gods became 
their gods, its morality — or, it may be, its immorality 
— became theirs also. Lot, indeed, had eventually to 
fly from Sodom, leaving behind him all his wealth ; 
but the mischief had already been done, and his 
children had become Canaanites in thought and deed. 
The nations which sprang from hirn, though separate 
in race from the older people of Canaan, were yet 
like them in other respects. They formed no "peculiar 
people," to whom the Lord might reveal Himself 
through the law and the prophets. 

It was not until Lot had separated himself from 
Abraham that the land of Canaan was promised to 
the descendants of the patriarch. "Lift up now thine 
eyes," God said to him, "and look from the place 
where thou art, northward and southward, and east- 
ward and westward : for all the land which thou seest, 
to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever." Once 


more, therefore, Abraham departed southward from 
Shechem ; not this time to go into the land of Egypt, 
but to dwell beside the terebinth-oak of Mamre hard 
by Hebron, where the founder of the Davidic 
monarchy was hereafter to be crowned king. It is 
probable that the sanctuary which in days to come 
was to make Hebron famous had not as yet been 
established there; at all events the name of Hebron, 
"the confederacy," was not as yet known, and the city 
was called Kirjath-Arba. Whether it was also called 
Mamre is doubtful ; Mamre would rather seem to have 
been the name of the plateau which stretched beyond 
the valley of Hebron and was occupied by the Amorite 
confederates of the Hebrew patriarch. 

It was while he "dwelt under the terebinth of 
Mamre the Amorite " that the campaign of Chedor- 
laomer and his Babylonian allies took place, and that 
Lot was carried away among the Canaanitish cap- 
tives. But the triumph of the conquerors was short- 
lived. "Abram the Hebrew" pursued them with his 
armed followers, three hundred and eighteen in 
number, as well as with his Amorite allies, and sud- 
denly falling upon their rear-guard near Damascus 
by night, rescued the captives and the spoil. There 
was rejoicing in the Canaanitish cities when the 
patriarch returned with his booty. The new king of 
Sodom met him in the valley of Shaven, "the king's 
dale " of later times, just outside the walls of Jeru- 
salem, and the king of Jerusalem himself, Melchi- 
zedek, "the priest of the most High God," welcomed 
the return of the victor with bread and wine. Then 
it was that Abram restored the spoil he had captured 
from the foe, while Melchizedek blessed him in the 
name of "the most High God." 


Outside the pages of the Old Testament the special 
form assumed by the blessing has been found only 
in the Aramaic inscriptions of Egypt. Here, too, we 
find travellers from Palestine writing of themselves 
"Blessed be Augah of Isis," or "Blessed be Abed- 
Nebo of Khnum " ! It would seem, therefore, to have 
been a formula peculiar to Canaan ; at all events, it 
has not been traced to other parts of the Semitic 
world. The temple of the Most High God— El Elyon 
— probably stood on Mount Moriah where the temple 
of the God of Israel was afterwards to be erected. It 
will be remembered that among the letters sent by 
Ebed-Kheba, the king of Jerusalem, to the Egyptian 
Pharaoh is one in which he speaks of "the city of 
the Mountain of Jerusalem, whose name is the city of 
the temple of the god Nin-ip." In this "Mountain 
of Jerusalem" it is difficult not to see the "temple- 
mount " of later days. 

In the cuneiform texts of Ebed-Kheba and the 
later Assyrian kings the name of Jerusalem is written 
Uru-Salim, "the city of Salim." Salim, "Salvation," 
is almost certainly the native name of the god who 
was identified with the Babylonian Nin-ip, and per- 
haps Isaiah — that student of the older history of his 
country — is alluding to the fact when he declares that 
one of the titles of the Messiah shall be "the Prince 
of Peace." At any rate, if the Most High God of 
Jerusalem were really Salim, the God of Salvation, 
we should have an explanation of the blessing pro- 
nounced by Melchizedek upon the patriarch. Abram's 
victory had brought salvation to Canaan ; he had 
recovered the captives, and had himself returned in 
peace. It was fitting, therefore, that he should be 
welcomed by the priest of the God of Salvation, and 


that tithes should be offered of the booty he had 
recovered to the god of "the City of Salim." 

This offering of tithes was no new thing. In his 
Babylonian home Abraham must have been familiar 
with the practice. The cuneiform inscriptions of 
Babylonia contain frequent references to it. It went 
back to the pre-Semitic age of Chaldaea, and the great 
temples of Babylonia were largely supported by the 
esrd or tithe which was levied upon prince and peasant 
alike. That the god should receive a tenth of the 
good things which, it was believed, he had bestowed 
upon mankind, was not considered to be asking too 
much. There are many tablets in the British Museum 
which are receipts for the payment of the tithe to the 
great temple of the Sun-god at Sippara in the time 
of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. From one of 
them we learn that Belshazzar, even at the very 
moment when the Babylonian empire was falling 
from his father's hands, nevertheless found an oppor- 
tunity for paying the tithe due from his sister; while 
others show us that Cyrus and Cambyses did not 
regard their foreign origin as affording any pretext 
for refusing to pay tithe to the gods of the kingdom 
they had overthrown. 

The Babylonian army had been defeated near 
Damascus, and immediately after this we are told 
that the steward of Abraham's house was "Eli-ezer 
of Damascus." Whether there is any connection 
between the two facts we cannot say ; but it may 
be that Eli-ezer had attached himself to the Hebrew 
conqueror when he was returning "from the slaughter 
of Chedor-laomer." The name of Eli-ezer, "God is 
a help," is characteristic of Damascus. More often 
in place of El, "God," we have Hadad, the supreme 



deity of Syria; but just as among the Israelites 
Eli-akim and Jeho-iakim are equivalent, so among the 
Aramaeans of Syria were Eli-ezer and Hadad-ezer. 
Hadad-ezer, it will be remembered, was the king of 
Zobah who was overthrown by David. 

Sarai, the wife of Abraham, was still childless, but 
the patriarch had a son by his Egyptian handmaid, 
the ancestor of the Ishmaelite tribes who spread from 
the frontier of Egypt to Mecca, in Central Arabia. 
It was when Ishmael was thirteen years of age that 
the covenant was made between God and Abraham 
which was sealed with the institution of circumcision. 
Circumcision had been practised in Egypt from the 
earliest days of its history ; henceforth it also distin- 
guished all those who claimed Abraham as their fore- 
father. With circumcision Abraham . received the 
name by which he was henceforth to be known ; he 
ceased to be Abram, the Hebrew from Babylonia, 
and became Abraham the father of Ishmael and Israel. 
The new rite and the new name were alike the seal 
and token of the covenant established between the 
patriarch and his God; God promised that his seed 
should multiply, and that the land of Canaan should 
be given as an everlasting possession, while Abraham 
and his offspring were called upon to keep God's 
covenant for ever. 

It could not have been long after this that the 
cities of the plain were destroyed "with brimstone 
and fire from the Lord out of heaven." The expres- 
sion is found in the cuneiform tablets of Babylonia. 
Old Sumerian hymns spoke of a "rain of stones and 
fire," though the stones may have been hailstones 
and thunderbolts, and the fire the flash of the light- 
ning. But whatever may have been the nature of the 


sheet of flame which enveloped the guilty cities of the 
plain and set on fire the naphtha-springs that oozed 
out of it, the remembrance of the catastrophe survived 
to distant ages. The prophets of Israel and Judah 
still refer to the overthrow of Sodom and its sister 
cities, and St. Jude points to them as "suffering the 
vengeance of eternal fire." Some scholars have seen 
an allusion to their overthrow in the tradition of the 
Phoenicians which brought their ancestors into the 
coastlands of Canaan in consequence of an earth- 
quake on the shores of "the Assyrian Lake." But 
the lake is more probably to be looked for in the 
neighbourhood of the Persian Gulf than in the valley 
of the Jordan. 

The vale of Siddim, and "the cities of the plain," 
stood at the northern end of the Dead Sea. Here 
were the "slime-pits" from which the naphtha was 
extracted, and which caused the defeat of the Canaan- 
itish princes by the Babylonian army. The legend 
which placed the pillar of salt into which Lot's wife 
was changed at the southern extremity of the Dead 
Sea was of late origin, probably not earlier than the 
days when Herod built his fortress of Machasrus on 
the impregnable cliffs of Moab, and the name of Gebel 
Usdum, given by the modern Arabs to one of the 
mountain-summits to the south of the sea proves 
nothing as to the site of the city of Sodom. Names 
in the east are readily transferred from one locality 
to another, and a mountain is not the same as a city 
in a plain. 

There are two sufficient reasons why it is to the 
north rather than to the south that we must look for 
the remains of the doomed cities, among the numerous 
tumuli which rise above the rich and fertile plain in 


the neighbourhood of Jericho, where the ancient 
"slime-pits" can still be traced. Geology has taught 
us that throughout the historical period the Dead Sea 
and the country immediately to the south of it have 
undergone no change. What the lake is to-day, it 
must have been in the days of Abraham. It has 
neither grown nor shrunk in size, and the barren salt 
with which it poisons the ground must have equally 
poisoned it then. No fertile valley, like the vale of 
Siddim, could have existed in the south ; no prosper- 
ous Canaanitish cities could have grown up among the 
desolate tracts of the southern wilderness. As we are 
expressly told in the Book of Numbers (xiii. 29), the 
Canaanites dwelt only "by the coast of Jordan," not 
in the desert far beyond the reach of the fertilizing 

But there is another reason which excludes the 
southern site. "When Abraham got up early in the 
morning," we are told, "he looked towards Sodom and 
Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and 
beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as 
the smoke of a furnace." Such a sight was possible 
from the hills of Hebron ; if the country lay at the 
northern end of the Dead Sea, it would have been 
impossible had it been south of it. 

Moreover, the northern situation of the cities alone 
agrees with the geography of Genesis. When the 
Babylonian invaders had turned northwards after 
smiting the Amalekites of the desert south of the 
Dead Sea, they did not fall in with the forces of the 
king of Sodom and his allies until they had first 
passed "the Amorites that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar." 
Hazezon-tamar, as we learn from the Second Book of 
Chronicles (xx. 2), was the later En-gedi, "the Spring 


of the Kid," and En-gedi lay on the western shore of 
the Dead Sea midway between its northern and south- 
ern extremities. 

In the warm, soft valley of the Jordan, accordingly, 
where a sub-tropical vegetation springs luxuriantly 
out of the fertile ground and the river plunges into 
the Dead Sea as into a tomb, the nations of Ammon 
and Moab were born. It was a fitting spot, in close 
proximity as it was to the countries which thereafter 
bore their names. From the mountain above Zoar, 
Lot could look across to the blue hills of Moab and 
the distant plateau of Ammon. 

Meanwhile Abraham had quitted Mam re and again 
turned his steps towards the south. This time it was 
at Gerar, between the sanctuary of Kadesh-barnea and 
Shur the "wall " of Egypt that he sojourned. Kadesh 
has been found again in our own days by the united 
efforts of Dr. John Rowlands and Dr. Clay Trumbull 
in the shelter of a block of mountains which rise to 
the south of the desert of Beer-sheba. The spring of 
clear and abundant water which gushes forth in their 
midst was the En-Mishpat — "the spring where judg- 
ments were pronounced " — of early times, and is still 
called 'Ain-Qadis, "the spring of Kadesh." Gerar 
is the modern Umm el-Jerar, now desolate and barren, 
all that remains of its past being a lofty mound of 
rubbish and a mass of potsherds. It lies a few hours 
only to the south of Gaza. 

Here Isaac was born and circumcised, and here 
Ishmael and Hagar were cast forth into the wilderness 
and went to dwell in the desert of Paran. The terri- 
tory of Gerar extended to Beer-sheba, "the well of the 
oath," where Abraham's servants digged a well, and 
Abimelech, king of Gerar, confirmed his possession of 


it by an oath. It may be that one of the two wells 
which still exist at Wadi es-Seba', with the stones 
that line their mouths deeply indented by the ropes 
of the water-drawers, is the very one around which 
the herdsmen of Abraham and Abimelech wrangled 
with each other. The wells of the desert go back to 
a great antiquity : where water is scarce its discovery 
is not easily forgotten, and the Beduin come with their 
flocks year after year to drink of it. The old wells are 
constantly renewed, or new ones dug by their side. 

Gerar was in that south-western corner of Palestine 
which in the age of the Exodus was inhabited by the 
Philistines. But they had been new-comers. All 
through the period of the eighteenth and nineteenth 
Egyptian dynasties the country had been in the hands 
of the Egyptians. Gaza had been their frontier fort- 
ress, and as late as the reign of Meneptah, the son 
of the Pharaoh of the Oppression, it was still gar- 
risoned by Egyptian troops and governed by Egyptian 
officers. The Pulsata or Philistines did not arrive till 
the troublous days of Ramses III., of the twentieth 
dynasty. They formed part of the barbarian hordes 
from the shores of Asia Minor and the islands of the 
^Egean, who swarmed over Syria and flung them- 
selves on the valley of the Nile, and the land of 
Caphtor from which they came was probably the island 
of Krete. The Philistine occupation of the coast- 
land of Canaan therefore did not long precede the 
Israelitish invasion of the Promised Land ; indeed we 
may perhaps gather from the words of Exodus (xiii. 
17) that the Philistines were already winning for them- 
selves their new territory when the Israelites marched 
out of Egypt. In saying, consequently, that the king- 
dom of Abimelech was in the land of the Philistines 


the Book of Genesis speaks proleptically : when the 
story of Abraham and Abimelech was written in its 
present form Gerar was a Philistine town : in the days 
of the Patriarchs this was not yet the case. 

At Beer-sheba Abraham planted a tamarisk, and 
"called on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God." 
Beer-sheba long remained one of the sacred places of 
Palestine. The tree planted by its well was a sign 
both of the water that flowed beneath its soil and of 
its sacred character. It was only where fresh water 
was found that the nomads of the desert could come 
together, and the tree was a token of the life and 
refreshment they would meet with. The well was 
sacred ; so also was the solitary tree which stood beside 
it, and under whose branches man and beast could find 
shade and protection from the mid-day heat. Even 
Mohammedanism, that Puritanism of the East, has 
not been able to eradicate the belief in the divine 
nature of such trees from the mind of the nomad; we 
may still see them decorated with offerings of rags 
torn from the garments of the passer-by or shading 
the tomb of some reputed saint. They are still more 
than waymarks or resting-places for the heated and 
weary ; when standing beneath them the herdsman 
feels that he is walking upon consecrated ground. 

It was at Beer-sheba that the temptation came to 
Abraham to sacrifice his first-born, his only son Isaac. 
The temptation was in accordance with the fierce ritual 
of Syria, and traces of the belief which had called it 
into existence are to be found in the early literature 
of Babylonia. Thus in an ancient Babylonian ritual- 
text we read : " The scapegoat who raises his head 
among mankind, the scapegoat for his life he gave; 
the head of the scapegoat for the head of the man he 


gave; the neck of the scapegoat for the neck of the 
man he gave." Phoenician legend told how the god 
El had robed himself in royal purple and sacrificed 
his only son Yeud in a time of pestilence, and the 
writers of Greece and Rome describe with horror the 
sacrifices of the first-born with which the history of 
Carthage was stained. The father was called upon 
in time of trouble to yield up to the god his nearest 
and dearest ; the fruit of his body could alone wipe 
away the sin of his soul, and Baal required him to 
sacrifice without a murmur or a tear his first-born and 
his only one. The more precious the offering, the 
more acceptable was it to the god; the harder the 
struggle to resign it, the greater was the merit of 
doing so. The child died for the sins of his people; 
and the belief was but the blind and ignorant expres- 
sion of a true instinct. 

But Abraham was to be taught a better way. For 
three days he journeyed northward with his son, and 
then lifting up his eyes saw afar off that mountain "in 
the land of Moriah," on the summit of which the sacri- 
fice was to be consummated. Alone with Isaac he 
ascended to the high-place, and there building his 
altar and binding to it his son he prepared to perform 
the terrible rite. But at the last moment his hand was 
stayed, a new and better revelation was made to him, 
and a ram was substituted for his son. It cannot be 
accidental that, as M. Clermont-Ganneau has pointed 
out, we learn from the temple-tariffs of Carthage and 
Marseilles that in the later ritual of Phoenicia a ram 
took the place of the earlier human sacrifice. 

Where was this mountain in the land of Moriah 
whereon the altar of Abraham was built? It would 
seem from a passage in the Second Book of Chronicles 


(iii. 1) that it was the future temple-mount at Jeru- 
salem. The words of Genesis also point in the same 
direction. Abraham, we read, "called the name of that 
place Jehovah-jireh : as it is said to this day, In the 
mount of the Lord it shall be seen." It is hard to 
believe that "the mount of the Lord" can mean any- 
thing else than that har-el or "mountain of God" 
whereon Ezekiel places the temple, or that the proverb 
can refer to a less holy spot than that where the Lord 
appeared enthroned upon the cherubim above the 
mercy-seat. It is doubtful, however, whether the 
reading of the Hebrew text in either passage is correct. 
According to the Septuagint the proverb quoted in 
Genesis should run: "In the mountain is the Lord 
seen," and the same authority changes the "Moriah " 
of the Book of Chronicles into Amoreia, "of the 

It is true that the distance of Jerusalem from Beer- 
sheba would agree well with the three days' journey 
of Abraham. But it is difficult to reconcile the descrip- 
tion of the scene of Abraham's sacrifice with the future 
temple^mount. Where Isaac was bound to the altar 
was a solitary spot, the patriarch and his son were 
alone there, and it was overgrown with brushwood so 
thickly that a ram had been caught in it by h'is horns. 
The temple-mount, on the contrary, was either within 
the walls of a city or just outside them, and the city 
was already a capital famous for its worship of "the 
most High God." Had the Moriah of Jerusalem 
really been the site of Abraham's altar it is strange 
that no allusion is made to the fact by the writers of 
the Old Testament, or that tradition should have been 
silent on the matter. We must be content with the 
knowledge that it was to one of the mountains "in the 


land of Moriah " that Abraham was led, and that 
"Moriah " was a "land," not a single mountain-peak. 1 

Abraham returned to Beer-sheba, and from thence 
went to Hebron, where Sarah died. Hebron — or 
Kirjath-Arba as it was then called — was occupied by 
a Hittite tribe, in contradistinction to the country 
round about it, which was in the possession of the 
Amorites. As at Jerusalem, or at Kadesh on the 
Orontes, the Hittites had intruded into Amoritish 
territory and established themselves in the fortress- 
town. But while the Hittite city was known as 
Kirjath-Arba, "the city of Arba," the Amoritish dis- 
trict was named Mamre : the union of Kirjath-Arba 
and Mamre created the Hebron of a later day. 

Kirjath-Arba seems to have been built in the valley, 
close to the pools which still provide water for its 
modern inhabitants. On the eastern side the slope of 
the hill is honeycombed with tombs cut in the rock, 
and, if ancient tradition is to be believed, it was in 
one of these that Abraham desired to lay the body of 
his wife. The "double cave" of Machpelah — for so 
the Septuagint renders the phrase — was in the field 
of Ephron the Hittite, and from Ephron, accordingly, 
the Hebrew patriarch purchased the land for 400 
shekels of silver, or about £47. The cave, we are 
told, lay opposite Mamre, which goes to show that 
the oak under which Abraham once pitched his tent 
may not have been very far distant from that still 
pointed out as the oak of Mamre in the grounds of 
the Russian hospice. The traditional tomb of Mach- 

1 We should not forget that the Septuagint reads "the high- 
lands," that is, Moreh instead of Moriah^ while the Syriac version 
boldly changes the word into the name of the " Amorites." For 
arguments on the other side, see p. 68. 


pelah has been venerated alike by Jew, Christian, and 
Mohammedan. The church built over it in Byzantine 
days and restored by the Crusaders to Christian 
worship has been transformed into a mosque, but its 
sanctity has remained unchanged. It stands in the 
middle of a court, enclosed by a solid wall of massive 
stones, the lower courses of which were cut and laid 
in their places in the age of Herod. The fanatical 
Moslem is unwilling that any but himself should enter 
the sacred precincts, but by climbing the cliff behind 
the town it is possible to look down upon the mosque 
and its sacred enclosure, and see the whole building 
spread out like a map below the feet. 

More than one English traveller has been permitted 
to enter the mosque, and we are now well acquainted 
with the details of its architecture. But the rock-cut 
tomb in which the bodies of the Patriarchs are sup- 
posed to have lain has never been examined by the 
explorer. It is probable, however, that were he to 
penetrate into it he would find nothing to reward his 
pains. During the long period that Hebron was in 
Christian hands the cave was more than once visited 
by the pilgrim. But we look in vain in the records 
which have come down to us for an account of the 
relics it has been supposed to contain. Had the 
mummified corpses of the Patriarchs been preserved 
in it, the fact would have been known to the travellers 
of the Crusading age. 1 

Like the other tombs in its neighbourhood, the cave 
of Machpelah has doubtless been opened and despoiled 
at an early epoch. We know that tombs were violated 
in Egypt long before the days of Abraham, in spite 
of the penalties with which such acts of sacrilege were 
1 See the Zeitschrift des deutschen Paldstina-Vereins, 1895. 



visited, and the cupidity of the Canaanite was no less 
great than that of the Egyptian. The treasures buried 
with the dead were too potent an attraction, and the 
robber of the tomb braved for their sake the terrors 
of both this world and the next. 

Abraham now sent his servant to Mesopotamia, to 
seek there for a wife for his son Isaac from among his 
kinsfolk of Harran. Rebekah, the sister of Laban, 
accordingly, was brought to Canaan and wedded to 
her cousin. Isaac was at the time in the southern 
desert, encamped at the well of Lahairoi, near Kadesh. 
So "Isaac was comforted after his mother's death." 

"Then again," we are told, "Abraham took a wife," 
whose name was Keturah, and by whom he was the 
forefather of a number of Arabian tribes. They occu- 
pied the northern and central parts of the Arabian 
peninsular, by the side of the Ishmaelites, and colon- 
ized the land of Midian. It is the last we hear of the 
great patriarch. He died soon afterwards "in a good 
old age," and was buried at Machpelah along with his 

Isaac still dwell at Lahai-roi, and there the twins, 
Esau and Jacob, were born to him. There, too, he 
still was when a famine fell upon the land, like "the 
first famine that was in the days of Abraham." The 
story of Abraham's dealings with Abimelech of Gerar 
is repeated in the case of Isaac. Again we hear of 
Phichol, the captain of Abimelech's army; again the 
wife of the patriarch is described as his sister; and 
again his herdsmen strive with those of the king of 
Gerar over the wells they have dug, and the well of 
Beer-sheba is made to derive its name from the oaths 
sworn mutually by Isaac and the king. It is hardly 
conceivable that history could have so closely repeated 


itself, that the lives of the king and commander-in- 
chief of Gerar could have extended over so many 
years, or that the origin of the name of Beer-sheba 
would have been so quickly forgotten. Rather we 
must believe that two narratives have been mingled 
together, and that the earlier visit of Abraham to 
Gerar has coloured the story of Isaac's sojourn in the 
territory of Abimelech. We need not refuse to believe 
that the servants of Isaac dug wells and wrangled over 
them with the native herdsmen ; that Beer-sheba 
should twice have received its name from a repetition 
of the same event is a different matter. One of the 
wells — that of Rehoboth — made by Isaac's servants is 
probably referred to in the Egyptian Travels of a 
Mohar, where it is called Rehoburta. 

Isaac was not a wanderer like his father. Lahai-roi 
in the desert, "the valley of Gerar," Beer-sheba and 
Hebron, were the places round which his life revolved, 
and they were all close to one another. There is no 
trace of his presence in the north of Palestine, and 
when the prophet Amos (vii. 16) makes Isaac 
synonymous with the northern kingdom of Israel, 
there can be no geographical reference in his words. 
Isaac died eventually at Hebron, and was buried in 
the family tomb of Machpelah. 

But long before this happened Jacob had fled from 
the well-deserved wrath of his brother to his uncle 
Laban at Harran. On his way he had slept on the 
rocky ridge of Bethel, and had beheld in vision the 
angels of God ascending and descending the steps of 
a staircase that led to heaven. The nature of the 
ground itself must have suggested the dream. The 
limestone rock is fissured into step-like terraces, which 
seem formed of blocks of stone piled one upon the 
l 2 


other, and rising upwards like a gigantic staircase 
towards the sky. On the hill that towers above the 
ruins of Beth-el, we may still fancy that we see before 
us the "ladder " of Jacob. 

But the vision was more than a mere dream. God 
appeared in it to the patriarch, and repeated to him 
the promise that had been made to his fathers. 
Through Jacob, the younger of the twins, the true line 
of Abraham was to be carried on. When he awoke 
in the morning the fugitive recognized the real char- 
acter of his dream. He took, accordingly, the stone 
that had served him for a pillow, and setting it up as 
an altar, poured oil upon it, and so made it a Beth-el, 
or " House of God." Henceforward it was a con- 
secrated altar, a holy memorial of the God whose 
divinity had been mysteriously imparted to it. 

The Semitic world was full of such Beth-els, or con- 
secrated stones. They are referred to in the literature 
of ancient Babylonia, and an English traveller, Mr. 
Doughty, has found them still existing near the Tema 
of the Old Testament in Northern Arabia. In 
Phoenicia we are told that they abounded. The soli- 
tary rock in the desert or on the mountain-side seemed 
to the primitive Semite the dwelling-place of deity ; 
it rose up awe-striking and impressive in its solitary 
grandeur and venerable antiquity ; it was a shelter to 
him from the heat of the sun, and a protection from 
the perils of the night. When his worship and adora- 
tion came in time to be transferred from the stone 
itself to the divinity it had begun to symbolize, it 
became an altar on which the libation of oil or wine 
might be poured out to the gods, and on the seals of 
Syria and the sculptured slabs of Assyria we accord- 
ingly find it transformed into a portable altar, and 


merged in the cone-like symbol of the goddess 
Asherah. The stone which had itself been a Beth-el 
wherein the deity had his home, passed by degrees 
into the altar of the god whose actual dwelling-place 
was in heaven. 

The Canaanitish city near which Jacob had raised 
the monument of his dream bore the name of Luz. 
In Israelitish days, however, the name of the monu- 
ment was transferred to that of the city, and Luz 
itself was called the Beth-el, or "House of God." 
The god worshipped there when the Israelites first 
entered Canaan appears to have been entitled On, — a 
name derived, perhaps, from that of the city of the 
Sun-god in Egypt. Bethel was also Beth-On, "the 
temple of On," .from whence the tribe of Benjamin 
afterwards took the name of Ben-Oni, "the Onite." 
Beth-On has survived into our own times, and the 
site of the old city is still known as Beitin. 

It is not needful to follow the adventures of Jacob 
in Mesopotamia. His new home lay far away from 
the boundaries of Palestine, and though the kings of 
Aram-Naharaim made raids at times into the land of 
Canaan and caused their arms to be feared within the 
walls of Jerusalem, they never made any permanent 
conquests on the coasts of the Mediterranean. In the 
land of the Aramaeans Jacob is lost for awhile from 
the history of patriarchal Palestine. 

When he again emerges, it is as a middle-aged man, 
rich in flocks and herds, who has won two wives as 
the reward of his labours, and is already the father of 
a family. He is on his way back to the country which 
had been promised to his seed and wherein he himself 
had been born. Laban, his father-in-law, robbed at 
once of his daughters and his household gods, is 


pursuing him, and has overtaken him on the spurs of 
Mount Gilead, almost within sight of his goal. There 
a covenant is made between the Aramaean and the 
Hebrew, and a cairn of stones is piled up to com- 
memorate the fact. The cairn continued to bear a 
double name, the Aramaean name given to it by 
Laban, and the Canaanitish name of Galeed, "the 
heap of witnesses," by which it was called by Jacob. 
The double name was a sign of the two populations 
and languages which the cairn separated from one 
another. Northward were the Aramaeans and an 
Aramaic speech ; southward the land of Canaan and 
the language which we term Hebrew. 

The spot where the cairn was erected bore yet 
another title. It was also called Mizpah, the "watch- 
tower," the outpost from which the dweller in Canaan 
could discern the approaching bands of an enemy 
from the north or east. It protected the road to the 
Jordan, and kept watch over the eastern plateau. Here 
in after times Jephthah gathered around him the 
patriots of Israel, and delivered his people from the 
yoke of the Ammonites. 

Once more "Jacob went on his way," and from the 
" two-fold camp " of Mahanaim sent messengers to his 
brother Esau, who had already established himself 
among the mountains of Seir. Then came the mys- 
terious struggle in the silent darkness of night with 
one whom the patriarch believed to have been his 
God Himself. When day dawned, the vision departed 
from him, but not until his name had been changed. 
"Thy name," it was declared to him, "shall be called 
no more Jacob, but Israel ; for as a prince hast thou 
power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." 
And his thigh was shrunken, so that the children of 


Israel in days to come abstained from eating "of the 
sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the 
thigh." The spot where the struggle took place, 
beside the waters of the Jabbok, was named Penu-el, 
"the face of God." There was more than one other 
Penu-el in the Semitic world, and at Carthage the 
goddess Tanith was entitled Peni-Baal, "the face of 

The name of Israel, as we may learn from its equiva- 
lent, Jeshurun, was really derived from a root which 
signified "to be straight," or "upright." The Israel- 
ites were in truth "the people of uprightness." It is 
only by one of those plays upon words, of which the 
Oriental is still so fond, that the name can be brought 
into connection with the word sar, "a prince." But 
the name of Jacob was well known among the northern 
Semites. We gather from the inscriptions of Egypt 
that its full form was Jacob-el. Like Jeshurun by the 
side of Israel, or Jephthah by the side of Jiphthah-el 
(Josh. xix. 27), Jacob is but an abbreviated Jacob-el. 
One of the places in Palestine conquered by the 
Pharaoh Thothmes III., the names of which are 
recorded on the walls of his temple at Karnak, was 
Jacob-el — a reminiscence, doubtless, of the Hebrew 
patriarch. Prof. Flinders Petrie has made us 
acquainted with Egyptian scarabs on which is in- 
scribed in hieroglyphic characters the name of a king, 
Jacob-har or Jacob-hal, who reigned in the valley of 
the Nile before Abraham entered it, and Dr. Pinches 
has lately discovered the name of Jacob-el among the 
persons mentioned in contracts of the time of the 
Babylonian sovereign Sin-muballidh, who was a con- 
temporary of Chedor-laomer. We thus have monu- 
mental evidence that the name of Jacob was well 


known in the Semitic world in the age of the Hebrew 

Jacob and Esau met and were reconciled, and Jacob 
then journeyed onwards to Succoth, "the booths." 
The site of this village of "booths" is unknown, but 
it could not have been far from the banks of the 
Jordan and the road to Nablus. The neighbourhood 
of Shechem, called in Greek times Neapolis, the 
Nablus of to-day, was the next resting-place of the 
patriarch. If we are to follow the translation of the 
Authorized Version, it would have been at "Shalem, 
a city of Shechem," that his tents were pitched. But 
many eminent scholars believe that the Hebrew words 
should rather be rendered : "And Jacob came in peace 
to the city of Shechem," the reference being to his 
peaceable parting from his brother. There is, how- 
ever, a hamlet still called Salim, nearly three miles to 
the east of Nablus, and it may be therefore that it was 
really, at a place termed Shalem that Jacob rested on 
his way. In this case the field bought from Hamor, 
"before the city of Shechem," cannot have been where, 
since the days of our Lord, "Jacob's well" has been 
pointed out (S. John iv. 5, 6). The well is situated 
considerably westward of Salim, midway, in fact, 
between that village and Nablus, and close to the 
village of 'Askar, with which the "Sychar" of S. 
John's Gospel has sometimes been identified. It has 
been cut through the solid rock to a depth of more 
than a hundred feet, and the groovings made by the 
ropes of the water-pots in far-off centuries are still 
visible at its mouth. But no water can be drawn from 
it now. The well is choked with the rubbish of a 
ruined church, built above it in the early days of 
Christianity, and of which all that remains is a broken 


arch. It has been dug at a spot where the road from 
Shechem to the Jordan branches off from that which 
runs towards the north, though Shechem itself is more 
than a mile distant. We should notice that S. John 
does not say that the well was actually in "the parcel 
of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph," only 
that it was "near to" the patriarch's field. 

If Jacob came to Shechem in peace, the peace was 
of no long continuance. Simeon and Levi, the sons 
of the patriarch, avenged the insult offered by the 
Shechemite prince to their sister Dinah, by treacher- 
ously falling upon the city and slaying "all the 
males." Jacob was forced to fly, leaving behind him 
the altar he had erected. He made for the Canaanitish 
city of Luz, the Beth-el of later days, where he had 
seen the great altar-stairs sloping upward to heaven. 
The idols that had been carried from Mesopotamia 
were buried "under the oak which was by Shechem," 
along with the ear-rings of the women. The oak was 
one of those sacred trees which abounded in the 
Semitic world, like another oak at Beth-el, beneath 
which the nurse of Rebekah was soon afterwards to 
be buried. 

At Beth-el Jacob built another altar. But he could 
not rest there, and once more took his way to the 
south. On the road his wife Rachel died while giving 
birth to his youngest son, and her tomb beside the 
path to Beth-lehem was marked by a "pillar" which 
the writer of the Book of Genesis tells us remained to 
his own day. It indicated the boundary between the 
territories of Benjamin and Judah at Zelzah (i Sam. 
x. 2). 

At Beth-lehem Jacob lingered a long while. His 
flocks and herds were spread over the country, under 


the charge of his sons, browsing on the hills and 
watered at the springs for which the "hill-country 
of Judah " was famous. In their search for pasturage 
they wandered northward, we are told, "beyond the 
tower of the Flock," which guarded the Jebusite 
stronghold of Zion (Mic. iv. 8). Beth-lehem itself 
was more commonly known in that age by the name 
of Ephrath. Beth-lehem, "the temple of Lehem," 
must, in fact, have been the sacred name of the city 
derived from the worship of its chief deity, and Mr. 
Tomkins is doubtless right in seeing in this deity the 
Babylonian Lakhmu, who with his consort Lakhama, 
was regarded as a primaeval god of the nascent world. 
At Beth-lehem Jacob was but a few miles distant 
from Hebron, where Isaac still lived, and where at his 
death he was buried by his sons Jacob and Esau in 
the family tomb of Machpelah. It was the last time, 
seemingly, that the two brothers found themselves 
together. Esau, partly by marriage, partly by con- 
quest, dispossessed the Horites of Mount Seir, and 
founded the kingdom of Edom, while the sons and 
flocks of Jacob scattered themselves from Hebron in 
the south of Canaan to Shechem in its centre. The 
two hallowed sanctuaries of the future kingdoms of 
Judah and Israel, where the first throne was set up in 
Israel and the monarchy of David was first estab- 
lished, thus became the boundaries of the herdsmen's 
domain. In both the Hebrew patriarch held ground 
that was rightfully his own. It was a sign that the 
house of Israel should hereafter occupy the land 
which the family of Israel thus roamed over with 
their flocks. The nomad was already passing 
into the settler, with fields and burial-places of 
his own. 


But before the transformation could be fully accom- 
plished, a long season of growth and preparation was 
needful. Egypt, and not Canaan, was to be the land 
in which the Chosen People should be trained for their 
future work. Canaan itself was to pass under 
Egyptian dominion, and to replace the influence of 
Babylonian culture by that of Egypt. It was a new 
world and a new civilization into which the descend- 
ants of Jacob were destined to emerge when finally 
they escaped from the fiery furnace of Egyptian 
bondage. The Egypt known to Jacob was an Egypt 
over which Asiatic princes ruled, and whose vizier 
was himself a Hebrew. It was the Egypt of the 
Hyksos conquerors, whose capital was Zoan, on the 
frontiers of Asia, and whose people were the slaves 
of an Asiatic stranger. The Egypt quitted by his 
descendants was one which had subjected Asia to 
itself, and had carried the spoils of Syria to its splen- 
did capital in the far south. The Asiatic wave had 
been rolled back from the banks of the Nile, and 
Egyptian conquest and culture had overflooded Asia 
as far as the Euphrates. 

But it was not Egypt alone which had undergone a 
change. The Canaan of Abraham and Jacob looked 
to Babylonia for its civilization, its literature, and its 
laws. Its princes recognized at times the supremacy 
of the Babylonian sovereigns, and the deities of Baby- 
lonia were worshipped in its midst. The Canaan of 
Moses had long been a province of the Egyptian 
Empire ; Egyptian rule had been substituted for that 
of Babylon, and the manners and customs of Egypt 
had penetrated deeply into the minds of its inhabit- 
ants. The Hittite invasion from the north had blocked 
the high-road to Babylonia, and diverted the trade of 


Palestine towards the west and the south. While 
Abraham, the native of Ur, and the emigrant from 
Harran, had found himself in Canaan, and even at 
Zoan, still within the sphere of the influences among 
which he had grown up, the fugitives from Egypt 
entered on the invasion of a country which had but 
just been delivered from the yoke of the Pharaohs. 
It was an Egyptian Canaan that the Israelites were 
called upon to subdue, and it was fitting therefore that 
they should have been made ready for the task by 
their long sojourn in the land of Goshen. 

How that sojourn came about, it is not for us to 
recount. The story of Joseph is too familiar to be 
repeated, though we are but just beginning to learn 
how true it is, in all its details, to the facts which 
Egyptian research is bringing more and more fully 
to light. We see the Midianite and Ishmaelite 
caravan passing Dothan — still known by its ancient 
name — with their bales of spicery from Gilead for 
the dwellers in the delta, and carrying away with them 
the young Hebrew slave. We watch his rise in the 
house of his Egyptian master, his wrongful imprison- 
ment and sudden exaltation when he sits by the side 
of Pharaoh and governs Egypt in the name of the 
king. We read the pathetic story of the old father 
sending his sons to buy corn from the royal granaries 
or larits of Egypt, and withholding to the last his 
youngest and dearest one ; of the Beduin shepherds 
bowing all unconsciously before the brother whom 
they had sold into slavery, and who now holds in his 
hands the power of life and death; of Joseph's dis- 
closure of himself to the conscious-stricken suppliants; 
of Jacob's cry when convinced at last that "the 
governor over all the land of Egypt " was his long- 


mourned son. "It is enough; Joseph my son is yet 
alive : I will go and see him before I die." 

Jacob and his family travelled in wagons along the 
high-road which connected the south of Palestine with 
the Delta. It led past Beer-sheba and El-Arish to the 
Shur, or line of fortifications which protected the 
eastern frontier of Egypt. The modern caravan road 
follows its course most of the way. It was thus dis- 
tinct from "the way of the Philistines," which led 
along the coast of the Mediterranean, on the northern 
edge of the Sirbonian Lake. In Egypt the Israelitish 
emigrants settled not far from the Hyksos capital in 
the land of Goshen, which the excavations of Dr. 
Naville have shown to be the Wadi Tumilat of to-day. 
Here they multiplied and grew wealthy, until the 
evil days came when the Egyptians rose up 
against Semitic influence and control, and Ramses II. 
transformed the free-born Beduin into public 

But the age of Ramses II. was still far distant when 
Jacob died full of years, and his mummy was carried 
to the burial-place of his fathers "in the land of 
Canaan." Local tradition connected the name of 
Abel-mizraim, "the meadow of Egypt," on the eastern 
side of the Jordan, with the long funeral procession 
which wended its way from Zoan to Hebron. We 
cannot believe, however, that the mourners would 
have so far gone out of their road, even if the 
etymology assigned by tradition to the name could 
be supported. The tradition bears witness to the fact 
of the procession, but to nothing more. 

With the funeral of Jacob a veil falls upon the 
Biblical history of Canaan, until the days when the 
spies were sent out to search the land. Joseph was 


buried in Egypt, not at Hebron, though he had made 
the Israelites swear before his death that his mummy 
should be eventually taken to Palestine. The road to 
Hebron, it is clear, was no longer open, and the power 
of the Hyksos princes must have been fast waning. 
The war of independence had broken out, and the 
native kings of Upper Egypt were driving the 
foreigner back into Asia. The rulers of Zoan had no 
longer troops to spare for a funeral procession through 
the eastern desert. 

The Chronicler, however, has preserved a notice 
which seems to show that a connection was still kept 
up between southern Canaan and the Hebrew settlers 
in Goshen, even after Jacob's death, perhaps while he 
was yet living. We are told that certain of the sons of 
Ephraim were slain by the men of Gath, whose cattle 
they had attempted to steal, and that their father, after 
mourning many days, comforted himself with the birth 
of other sons (i Chron. vii. 21-26). The notice, 
moreover, does not stand alone. Thothmes III., the 
great conqueror of the eighteenth Egyptian dynasty, 
states that two of the places captured by him in Pales- 
tine were Jacob-el and Joseph-el. It is tempting to 
see in the two names reminiscences of the Hebrew 
patriarch and his son. If so, the name of Joseph 
would have been impressed upon a locality in Canaan 
more than two centuries before the Exodus. The 
geographical lists of Thothmes III. and the fragments 
of early history preserved by the Chronicler would 
thus support and complete one another. The Egyptian 
cavalry who accompanied the mummy of Jacob to its 
resting-place at Machpelah, would not be the only 
evidence of the authority claimed by Joseph and his 
master in the land of Canaan ; Joseph himself would 


have left his name there, and his grand-children would 
have fought against "the men of Gath." 

But these are speculations which may, or may not, 
be confirmed by archaeological discovery. For the 
Book of Genesis Canaan disappears from sight with 
the death of Jacob. Henceforward it is upon Egypt 
and the nomad settlers in Goshen that the attention 
of the Pentateuch is fixed, until the time comes when 
the age of the patriarchs is superseded by that of the 
legislator, and Moses, the adopted son of the Egyptian 
princess, leads his people back to Canaan. Joseph 
had been carried by Midianitish hands out of Pales- 
tine into Egypt, there to become the representative of 
the Pharaoh, and son-in-law of the high-priest of 
Heliopolis; for Moses, the adopted grandson of the 
Pharaoh, "learned in all the wisdom of the 
Egyptians," it was reserved, after years of trial and 
preparation in Midian, to bring the descendants of 
Jacob out of their Egyptian prison-house to the 
borders of the Promised Land. 



Palestine has been a land of pilgrims and tourists 
from the very beginning of its history. It was the 
goal of the migration of Abraham and his family, and 
it was equally the object of the oldest book of travels 
with which we are acquainted. Allusion has already 
been made more than once to the Egyptian papyrus, 
usually known as The Travels of a Mohar, and in 
which a satirical account is given of a tour in Pales- 
tine and Syria. The writer was a professor, appar- 
ently of literature, in the court of Ramses II., and 
he published a series of letters to his friend, Nekht- 
sotep, which were long admired as models of style. 
Nekht-sotep was one of the secretaries attached to the 
military staff, and among the letters is a sort of parody 
of an account given by Nekht-sotep of his adventures 
in Canaan, which was intended partly to show how 
an account of the kind ought to have been written by 
an accomplished penman, partly to prove the superi- 
ority of the scribe's life to that of the soldier, partly 
also, it may be, for the sake of teasing the writer's 
correspondent. Nekht-sotep had evidently assumed 
airs of superiority on the strength of his foreign 
travels, and his stay-at-home friend undertook to 
demonstrate that he had himself enjoyed the more 
comfortable life of the two. Nekht-sotep is playfully 
dubbed with the foreign title of Mohar — or more 


correctly Muhir — a word borrowed from Assyrian, 
where it primarily signified a military commander and 
then the governor of a province. 

Long before the days of the nineteenth dynasty, 
however, there had been Egyptian travellers in Pales- 
tine, or at least in the adjoining countries. One of 
the Egyptian books which have come down to us con- 
tains the story of a certain Sinuhit who had to fly 
from Egypt in consequence of some political troubles 
in which he was involved after the death of Amon-m- 
hat I. of the twelfth dynasty. Crossing the Nile near 
Kher-ahu, the Old Cairo of to-day, he gained the 
eastern bank of the river and made his way to the 
line of forts which protected Egypt from its Asiatic 
enemies. Here he crouched among the desert bushes 
till night-fall, lest "the watchmen of the tower" 
should see him, and then pursued his journey under 
the cover of darkness. At daybreak he reached the 
land of Peten and the wadi of Qem-uer on the line 
of the modern Suez Canal. There thirst seized upon 
him; his throat rattled, and he said to himself — "This 
is the taste of death." A Bedawi, however, perceived 
him and had compassion on the fugitive : he gave him 
water and boiled milk, and Sinuhit for a while joined 
the nomad tribe. Then he passed on to the country 
of Qedem, the Kadmonites of the Old Testament 
(Gen. xv. 19; Judges vi. 3), whence came the wise 
men of the East (1 Kings iv. 30). After spending a 
year and a half there, 'Ammu-nnshi, the prince of the 
Upper land of Tenu, asked the Egyptian stranger to 
come to him, telling him that he would hear the 
language of Egypt. He added that he had already 
heard about Sinuhit from "the Egyptians who were 
in the country." It is clear from this that there had 


been intercourse for some time between Egypt and 
"the Upper Tenu." 

It is probable that Dr. W. Max Miiller is right in 
seeing in Tenu an abbreviated form of Lutennu (or 
Rutenu), the name by which Syria was known to the 
Egyptians. There was an Upper Lutennu and a 
Lower Lutennu, the Upper Lutenna corresponding 
with Palestine and the adjoining country, and thus 
including the district near Beyrout of which 'Ammu- 
anshi or Ammi-anshi was king. In the name of 
'Ammu-anshi, it may be observed, we have the name 
of the deity who appears as Ammi or Ammon in the 
kingdom of the Ammonites, and perhaps forms the 
second element in the name of Balaam. The same 
divine name enters into the composition of those of 
early kings of Ma'in in Southern Arabia, as well as 
of Babylonia in the far East. 1 

'Ammu-anshi married Sinuhit to his eldest 
daughter, and bestowed upon him the government 
of a district called Aia which lay on the frontier of 
a neighbouring country. Aia is described as rich in 
vines, figs, and olives, in w r heat and barley, in milk 
and cattle. "Its wine was more plentiful than water," 
and Sinuhit had "daily rations of bread and wine, 
cooked meat and roast fowl," as well as abundance of 
game. He lived there for many years. The children 
born to him by his Asiatic wife grew up and became 
heads of tribes. " I gave water to the thirsty," he 
says ; " I set on his journey the traveller who had been 
hindered from passing by; I chastised the brigand. I 
commanded the Beduin, who departed afar to strike and 
repel the princes of foreign lands, and they marched 
(under me), for the prince of Tenu allowed that I should 
be during long years the general of his soldiers." 
1 See above, p. 54. 


Sinuhit, in fact, had given proof of his personal 
prowess at an early period in his career. The 
champion of Tenu had come to him in his tent and 
challenged him to single combat. The Egyptian was 
armed with bow, arrows, and dagger ; his adversary 
with battle-axe, javelins, and buckler. The contest 
was short, and ended in the decisive victory of Sinuhit, 
who wounded his rival and despoiled him of his 

A time came, however, when Sinuhit grew old, and 
began to long to see once more the land of his fathers 
before he died. Accordingly he sent a petition to the 
Pharaoh praying him to forgive the offences of his 
youth and allow him to return again to Egypt. The 
petition was granted, and a letter was despatched to 
the refugee, permitting him to return. Sinuhit accord- 
ingly quitted the land where he had lived so long. 
First of all he held a festival, and handed over his 
property to his children, making his eldest son the 
chief of the tribe. Then he travelled southward to 
Egypt, and was graciously received at court. The 
coarse garments of the Beduin were exchanged for 
fine linen ; his body was bathed with water and 
scented essences; he lay once more on a couch and 
enjoyed the luxurious cookery of the Egyptians. A 
house and pyramid were built for him ; a garden was 
laid out for him with a lake and a kiosk, and a golden 
statue with a robe of electrum was set up in it. 
Sinuhit ceased to be an Asiatic "barbarian," and 
became once more a civilized Egyptian. 

The travels of Sinuhit were involuntary, but a time 
came when a tour in Palestine was almost as much the 
fashion as it is to-day. The conquests of Thothmes 
III. had made Syria an Egyptian province, and had 
introduced Syrians into the Egyptian bureaucracy. 


Good roads were made throughout the newly-acquired 
territory, furnished with post-houses where food and 
lodging could be procured, and communication be- 
tween Egypt and Canaan thus became easy and fre- 
quent. The fall of the eighteenth dynasty caused 
only a momentary break in the intercourse between 
the two countries; with the establishment of the nine- 
teenth dynasty it was again resumed. Messengers 
passed backward and forward between Syria and the 
court of the Pharaoh ; Asiatics once more thronged 
into the valley of the Nile, and the Egyptian civil 
servant and traveller followed in the wake of the 
victorious armies of Seti and Ramses. The Travels 
of a Mohar is the result of this renewed acquaintance 
with the cities and roads of Palestine. 

The writer is anxious to display his knowledge 
of Syrian geography. Though he had not himself 
ventured to brave the discomforts of foreign travel, 
he wished to show that he knew as much about Canaan 
as those who had actually been there. A tour there 
was, after all, not much to boast of; it had become so 
common that the geography of Canaan was as well 
known as that of Egypt itself, and the stay-at-home 
scribe had consequently no difficulty in compiling a 
guide-book to it. 

The following is the translation given by Dr. 
Brugsch of the papyrus, with such alterations as 
have been necessitated by further study and research. 
"I will portray for thee the likeness of a Mohar, I 
will let thee know what he does. Hast thou not gone 
to the land of the Hittites, and hast thou not seen 
the land of Aupa? Dost thou not know what 
Khaduma is like; the land of Igad'i also how it is 
formed? The Zar (or Plain) of king Sesetsu (Sesos- 


tris) — on which side of it lies the town of Aleppo, 
and how is its ford? Hast thou not taken thy road 
to Kadesh (on the Orontes) and Tubikhi ? Hast thou 
not gone to the Shasu (Beduin) with numerous mer- 
cenaries, and hast thou not trodden the way to the 
Maghar[at] (the caves of the Magoras near Beyrout) 
where the heaven is dark in the daytime ? The place 
is planted with maple-trees, oaks, and acacias, which 
reach up to heaven, full of beasts, bears ( ?), and lions, 
and surrounded by Shasu in all directions. Hast thou 
not ascended the mountain of Shaua, and hast thou 
not trodden it? There thy hands hold fast to the 
[rein] of thy chariot ; a jerk has shaken thy horses in 
drawing it. I pray thee, let us go to the city of 
Beeroth (Beyrout). Hast thou not hastened to its 
ascent after passing over the ford in front of it? 

"Do thou explain this relish for [the life of] a 
Mohar ! Thy chariot lies there [before] thee ; thy 
[feet] have fallen lame; thou treadest the backward 
path at eventide. All thy limbs are ground small. 
Thy [bones] are broken to pieces, and thou dost fall 
asleep. Thou awakest : it is the time of gloomy night, 
and thou art alone. Has not a thief come to rob thee ? 
Some grooms have entered the stable ; the horse kicks 
out ; the thief has made off in the night, thy clothes 
are stolen. Thy groom wakes up in the night; he 
sees what has happened to him ; he takes what is left, 
he goes off to bad company, he joins the Beduin. He 
transforms himself into an Asiatic. The police (?) 
come, they [feel about] for the robber; he is dis- 
covered, and is immovable from terror. Thou wakest, 
thou findest no trace of them, for they have carried off 
thy property. 

"Become [again] a Mohar who is fully accoutred. 


Let thy ear be filled with that which I relate to thee 

"The town ' Hidden ' — such is the meaning of its 
name Gebal — what is its condition ? Its goddess [we 
will speak of] at another time. Hast thou not visited 
it ? Be good enough to look out for Beyrout, Sidon, 
and Sarepta. Where are the fords of the land of 
Nazana? The country of Authu (Usu), what is its 
condition ? They are situated above another city in 
the sea, Tyre the port is its name. Drinking-water is 
brought to it in boats. It is richer in fishes than in 
sand. I will tell thee of something else. It is danger- 
ous to enter Zair'aun. Thou wilt say it is burning 
with a very painful sting ( ?). Come, Mohar. Go 
forward on the way to the land of Pa-'A . . ina. 
Where is the road to Achshaph (Ekdippa) ? Towards 
which town ? Pray look at the mountain of User. 
How is its crest ? Where is the mountain of Sakama 
(Shechem) ? Who can surmount it? Mohar, whither 
must you take a journey to the land of Hazor ? How 
is its ford ? Show me how one goes to Hamath, 
Dagara, [and] Dagar-el, to the place where all Mohars 
meet ? Be good enough to spy out its road ; cast a 
look on Ya . . . When one goes to the land of 
Adamim, to what is one opposite ? Do not draw back, 
but instruct us. Guide us, that we may know, O 
leader ! 

" I will name to thee other cities besides these. Hast 
thou not gone to the land of Takhis, to Kafir-Marona, 
Tamnah, Kadesh, Dapul, Azai, Har-nammata, and 
hast thou not seen Kirjath-Anab, near Beth-Sopher? 
and dost thou not know Adullam [and] Zidiputa ? Or 
dost thou not know any better the name of Khalza in 
the land of Aupa, [like] a bull upon its frontiers? 


Here is the place where all the mighty warriors are 
seen. Be good enough to look and see the chapel of 
the land of Qina, and tell me about Rehob. Describe 
Beth-sha-el (Beth-el), along with Tarqa-el. The ford 
of the land of Jordan, how is it crossed? Teach me 
to know the passage that leads to the land of Megiddo, 
which lies in front of it. Verily thou art a Mohar, 
well skilled in the work of the strong hand. Pray, is 
there found a Mohar like thee, to place at the head of 
the army, or a seigneur who can beat thee in shooting ? 

"Beware of the gorge of the precipice, 2000 cubits 
deep, which is full of rocks and boulders. Thou 
turnest back in a zigzag, thou bearest thy bow, thou 
takest the iron in thy left hand. Thou lettest the old 
men see, if their eyes are good, how, worn out with 
fatigue, thou supportest thyself with thy hand. Ebed 
gamal Mohar n'amu (' A camel's slave is the Mohar ! 
they say ') ; so they say, and thou gainest a name 
among the Mohars and the knights of the land of 
Egypt. Thy name becomes like that of Qazairdai, 
the lord of Asel, when the lions found him in the 
thicket, in the defile which is rendered dangerous by 
the Shasu who lie in ambush among the trees. They 
measured four cubits from the nose to the heel, they 
had a grinf look, without softness ; they cared not 
for caresses. 

"Thou art alone, no strong one is with thee, no 
armee is behind thee, no Ariel who prepares the way 
for thee, and gives thee information of the road before 
thee. Thou knowest not the road. The hair on thy 
head stands on end; it bristles up. Thy soul is given 
into thy hands. Thy path is full of rocks and 
boulders, there is no outlet near, it is overgrown with 
creepers and wolf's-bane. The precipice is on one 


side of thee, the mountain and the wall of rock on the 
other. Thou drivest in against it. The chariot jumps 
on which thou art. Thou are troubled to hold up thy 
horses. If it falls down the precipice, the pole drags 
thee down too. Thy ceintures are pulled away. They 
fall down. Thou shacklest the horse, because the 
pole is broken on the path of the defile. Not knowing 
how to tie it up, thou understandest not how it is to 
be repaired. The essieu is left on the spot, as the 
load is too heavy for the horses. Thy courage has 
evaporated. Thou beginnest to run. The heaven is 
cloudless. Thou art thirsty ; the enemy is behind 
thee ; a trembling seizes thee ; a twig of thorny acacia 
worries thee; thou thrustest it aside; the horse is 
scratched till at length thou findest rest. 

"Explain to me thy liking for [the life of] a Mohar ! 

"Thou comest into Joppa; thou findest the date- 
palm in full bloom in its time. Thou openest wide 
thy mouth in order to eat. Thou findest that the maid 
who keeps the garden is fair. She does whatever thou 
wantest of her. . . Thou art recognized, thou art 
brought to trial, and owest thy preservation to being 
a \Mohar. Thy girdle of the finest stuff thou payest 
as the price of a worthless rag. Thou sleepest every 
evening with a rug of fur over thee. "Thou sleepest 
a deep sleep, for thou art weary. A thief steals 
thy bow and thy sword from thy side ; thy quiver and 
thy armour are cut to pieces in the darkness; thy pair 
of horses run away. The groom takes his course over 
a slippery path which rises before him. He breaks 
thy chariot in pieces; he follows thy footsteps. [He 
finds] thy equipments which had fallen on the ground 
and had sunk into the sand, leaving only an empty 

"Prayer does not avail thee, even when thy mouth 


says, ' Give food in addition to water, that I may- 
reach my goal in safety,' they are deaf and will not 
hear. They say not yes to thy words. The iron- 
workers enter into the smithy; they rummage in the 
workshops of the carpenters; the handicraftsmen and 
saddlers are at hand ; they do whatever thou requirest. 
They put together thy chariot ; they put aside the parts 
of it that are made useless; thy spokes are fagonne 
quite new ; thy wheels are put on ; they put the 
courroies on the axles and on the hinder part ; they 
splice thy yoke, they put on the box of thy chariot ; 
the [workmen] in iron forge the . . . ; they put the 
ring that is wanting on thy whip, they replace the 
lanieres upon it. 

"Thou goest quickly onward to fight on the battle- 
field, to do the deeds of a strong hand and of firm 

"Before I wrote I sought me out a Mohar who 
knows his power and leads the jeunesse, a chief in the 
armee, [who travels] even to the end of the world. 

"Answer me not ' This is good; this is bad; ' repeat 
not to me your opinion. Come, I will tell thee all that 
lies before thee at the end of thy journey. 

" I begin for thee with the palace of Sesetsu (Sesos- 
tris). Hast thou not set foot in it by force? Hast 
thou not eaten the fish in the brook . . . ? Hast thou 
not washed thyself in it? With thy permission I 
will remind thee of Huzana; where is its fortress? 
Come, I pray thee, to the palace of the land of Uazit, 
even to Osymandyas (Ramses II.) in his victories, 
[to] S . . z-el, together with Absaqbu. I will inform 
thee of the land of 'Ainin (the two Springs), the 
customs of which thou knowest not. The land of the 
lake of Nakhai, and the land of Rehoburta thou hast 
not seen since thou wast born, O Mohar. Rapih is 


widely extended. What is its wall like? It extends 
for a mile in the direction of Gaza." 

The French words introduced from time to time by 
Dr. Brugsch into the translation represent the Semitic 
words which the Egyptian writer has employed. They 
illustrate the fashionable tendency of his day to fill 
the Egyptian vocabulary with the words and phrases 
of Canaan. It was the revenge taken by Palestine for 
its invasion and conquest by the armies of Seti and 
Ramses. Thus armee corresponds to the Semitic 
tsaba, "army," jeunesse to na'aruna, "young men." 
The Egyptian scribe, however, sometimes made mis- 
takes similar to those which modern novelists are apt 
to commit in their French quotations. Instead of 
writing, as he intended, 'ebed gamal Mohar na'amu 
("a camel's slave is the Mohar ! they say"), he has 
assigned the Canaanite vowel ayin to the wrong word, 
and mis-spelt the name of the "camel," so that the 
phrase is transformed into abad kamal Mohar n'amu 
("the camel of the Mohar has perished, they are 
pleasant "). 1 

Most of the geographical names mentioned in the 
papyrus can be identified. Aupa, the Ubi of the Tel 
el-Amarna tablets, was on the borders of the land of 
the Hittites, and not far from Aleppo. The Zar or 
"Plain " of Sesostris makes its appearance in the lists 
of conquered towns and countries which were drawn 
up by Thothmes III., Seti I., Ramses II., and 
Ramses III., in order to commemorate their victories 
in Syria. The word probably migrated from Baby- 

1 It is curious that a similar mistake in regard to the spelling of 
' ebed, " slave " or " servant," has been made in an Aramaic inscrip- 
tion which I have discovered on the rocks near Silsileh in Upper 
Egypt, where the name of Ebed-Nebo is written Abed-Nebo. 


Ionia, where the zeru denoted the alluvial plain which 
lay between the Tigris and the Euphrates. Kadesh, 
the southern capital of the Hittites, "in the land of 
the Amorites," lay on the Orontes, close to the lake 
of Horns, and has been identified by Col. Conder 
with the modern Tel em-Mindeh. Tubikhi, of which 
we have already heard in the Tel el-Amarna letters, 
is also mentioned in the geographical lists inscribed 
by Thothmes III. on the walls of his temple at Karnak 
(No. 6); it there precedes the name of Kamta or 
Qamdu, the Kumidi of Tel el-Amarna. It is the 
Tibhath of the Old Testament, out of which David 
took "very much brass" (1 Chron. xviii. 8). The 
Maghar(at) or "Caves" gave their name to the 
Magoras, the river of Beyrout, as well as to the 
Mearah of the Book of Joshua (xiii. 4). As for the 
mountain of Shaua, it is described by the Assyrian 
king Tiglath-pileser III. as in the neighbourhood of 
the northern Lebanon, while the city of the Beeroth 
or "Cisterns" is probably Beyrout. 

The Mohar is now carried to Phoenicia. Gebal, 
Beyrout, Sidon, and Sarepta, are named one after the 
other, as the traveller is supposed to be journeying 
from north to south. The "goddess" of Gebal was 
Baaltis, so often referred to in the letters of Rib- 
Hadad, who calls her "the mistress of Gebal." In 
saying, however, that the name of the city meant 
" Hidden," the writer has been misled by the Egyptian 
mispronunciation of it. It became Kapuna in the 
mouths of his countrymen, and since kapu in 
Egyptian signified "hidden mystery," he jumped to 
the conclusion that such was also the etymology of 
the Phoenician word. In the "fords of the land of 
Nazana" we must recognize the river Litany, which 


flows into the sea between Sarepta and Tyre. At all 
events, Authu or Usu, the next city mentioned, is 
associated with Tyre both in the tablets of Tel el- 
Amarna and in the inscriptions of the Assyrian kings. 
It seems to have been the Palaetyros or "Older Tyre " 
of classical tradition, which stood on the mainland 
opposite the more famous insular Tyre. Phoenician 
tradition ascribes its foundation to Usoos, the off- 
spring of the mountains of Kasios and Lebanon, and 
brother of Memrumus, "the exalted," and Hysoura- 
nois, "the lord of heaven," who was the first to invent 
a clothing of skins, and to sail upon the water in boats, 
and who had taught mankind to adore the fire and the 
winds, and to set up two pillars of stone in honour of 
the deity. From Usu the Mohar is naturally taken to 
the island rock of Tyre. 

Next comes a name which it is difficult to identify. 
All that is clear is that between Zar or Tyre and 
Zair'aun there is some connection both of name and 
locality. Perhaps Dr. Brugsch is right in thinking 
that in the next sentence there is a play upon the 
Hebrew word zir'dh, "hornet," which seems to have 
the same root as Zair'aun. It may be that Zair'aun 
is the ancient city south of Tyre whose ruins are now 
called Umm el-'Amud, and whose older name is said 
to have been Turan. Unfortunately the name of the 
next place referred to in the Mohar's travels is doubt- 
ful; if it is Pa-'A(y)ina, "the Spring," we could 
identify it with the modern Ras el-'Ain, "the Head 
of the Spring." This is on the road to Zib, the 
ancient Achshaph or Ekdippa. 

"The mountain of User" reminds us curiously of 
the tribe of Asher, whose territory included the moun- 
tain-range which rose up behind the Phoenician coast. 


But it may denote Mount Carmel, whose "crest" faces 
the traveller as he makes his way southward from 
Tyre and Zib. In any case the allusion to it brings 
to the writer's mind another mountain in the same 
neighbourhood, the summit of which similarly towers 
into the sky. This is "the mountain of Shechem," 
either Ebal or Gerizim, each of which is nearly 3000 
feet above the level of the sea. It is the first mention 
that we have of Shechem outside the pages of the 
Old Testament. 

Shechem, however, did not lie in the path of the 
Mohar, and the reference to its mountain is made 
parenthetically only. We are therefore carried on to 
Hazor, which afterwards became a city of Naphtali, 
and of which we hear in the letters of Tel el-Amarna. 
From Hazor the road ran northwards to Hamath, the 
Hamah of to-day. Hazor lay not far to the westward 
of Adamim, which the geographical lists of Thothmes 
III. place between the Sea of Galilee and the Kishon, 
and which is doubtless the Adami of Naphtali (Josh. 
xix. 33). Here the tour of the Mohar comes to an 
abrupt close. After this the writer contents himself 
with naming a number of Syrian cities without regard 
to their geographical position. He is anxious merely 
to show off his knowledge of Canaanitish geography ; 
perhaps also to insinuate doubts as to the extent of 
his correspondent's travels. 

Takhis, the Thahash of Genesis (xxii. 24), was, as 
we have seen, in the land of the Amorites, not very far 
distant from Kadesh on the Orontes. Kafir-Marona, 
"the village of Marona," may have been in the same 
direction. The second element in the name is met 
with elsewhere in Palestine. Thus one of Joshua's 
antagonists was the king of Shimron-meron (Josh. 


xii. 20), and the Assyrian inscriptions tell us of a 
town called Samsi-muruna. Tamnah was not an un- 
common name. We hear of a Tamnah or Timnah in 
Judah (Josh. xv. 57), and of another in Mount 
Ephraim (Josh. xix. 50). Dapul may be the Tubuliya 
of the letters of Rib-Hadad, Azai, "the outlet," seems 
to have been near a pass, while Har-nammata, "the 
mountain of Nammata," is called Har-nam by Ramses 
III., who associates it with Lebanoth and Hebron. 
The two next names, Kirjath-Anab and Beth-Sopher, 
are of peculiar interest, since they contain the first 
mention that has come down to us of Kirjath-Sepher, 
the literary centre of the Canaanites in the south of 
Palestine, which was captured and destroyed by 
Othniel the Kenizzite. In the Old Testament (Josh. 
xv. 49, 50) Kirjath-Sannah or Kirjath-Sepher and 
Anab are coupled together just as Kirjath-Anab and 
Beth-Sopher are by the Egyptian scribe, and it is 
therefore evident that he has interchanged the place 
of the equivalent terms Kirjath, "city," and Beth, 
"house." But his spelling of the second name shows 
us how it ought to be punctuated and read in the Old 
Testament. It was not Kirjath-Sepher, "the city of 
book(s)," but Kirjath-Sopher, "the city of scribe(s)," 
and Dr. W. Max Miiller has pointed out that the 
determinative of "writing" has been attached to the 
word Sopher, showing that the writer was fully 
acquainted with its meaning. Kirjath-Sannah, "the 
city of instruction," as it was also called, was but 
another way of emphasizing the fact that here was the 
site of a library and school such as existed in the 
towns of Babylonia and Assyria. Both names, how- 
ever, Kirjath-Sopher and Kirjath-Sannah, were de- 
scriptive rather than original ; its proper designation 


seems to have been Debir, "the sanctuary," the temple 
wherein its library was established, and which has 
caused the Egyptian author to call it a "Beth," or 
"temple," instead of a "Kirjath," or "city." 

Like Anab and Kirjath-Sopher, Adullam and Zidi- 
puta were also in southern Canaan. It was in the cave 
of Adullam that David took refuge from the pursuit 
of Saul, and we learn from Shishak that Zidiputa — or 
Zadiputh-el, as he calls it — was in the south of Judah. 
From hence we are suddenly transported to the 
northern part of Syria, and the Mohar is asked if he 
knows anything about Khalza in the land of Aupa. 
Khalza is an Assyrian word signifying "Fortress," 
and Aupa, the Ubi of the Tel el-Amarna tablets, was 
not far from Aleppo. The allusion to the "bull" is 

Then once more we are summoned back to Pales- 
tine. In the annals of Thothmes III. we are told that 
"the brook of Qina " was to the south of Megiddo, so 
that the name of the district has probably survived 
in that of "Cana of Galilee." Rehob may be Rehob 
in Asher (Josh. xix. 28), which was near Kanah, 
though the name is so common in Syria as to make 
any identification uncertain. Beth-sha-el, on the con- 
trary, is Beth-el. We first meet with the name in the 
geographical lists of Thothmes III., and the fact that 
it is Babylonian in form, Bit-sa-ili being the Baby- 
lonian equivalent of the Hebrew Beth-el, is one of 
many proofs that the lists were compiled from a cunei- 
form original. The name of Beth-sha-el or Beth-el 
calls up that of Tarqa-el, which contains the name of 
the Hittite god Tarqu. But where Tarqa-el was 
situated it is impossible to say. 

Towards the end of the book reference is made to 


certain places which lay on the road between Egypt 
and Canaan. Rapih is the Raphia of classical geo- 
graphy, the Rapikh of the Assyrian inscriptions, 
where two broken columns now mark the boundary 
between Egypt and Turkey. Rehoburta is probably 
the Rehoboth where the herdsmen of Isaac dug a 
well before the patriarch moved to Beer-sheba (Gen. 
xxvi. 22), while in the lake of Nakhai we may have 
the Sirbonian lake of classical celebrity. 

There still remain two allusions in the papyrus 
which must not be passed over in silence. One is the 
allusion to "Qazairdai, the lord of Asel," the famous 
slayer of lions. We know nothing further about this 
Nimrod of Syria, but Professor Maspero is perhaps 
right in believing that Asel ought to be written Alsa, 
and that the country meant was the kingdom of Ala- 
siya, which lay on the southern coast of Cilicia. 
Several letters from the king of Alasiya are preserved 
in the Tel el-Amarna collection, and we gather from 
them that his possessions extended across the Orontes 
from the desert to the Mediterranean Sea. Egyptian 
papyri tell us that mares were imported into Egypt 
from Alasiya as well as two different kinds of liquor. 
In the age of Samuel and Saul Alasiya was governed 
by a queen. 

The second allusion is to the ironsmith in Canaan. 
It is clear that there were many of them, and that it 
was to the worker in iron and not to the worker in 
bronze that the traveller naturally turned when his 
chariot needed mending. Even the word that is em- 
ployed to denote the metal is the Canaanitish barzel, 
which has been adopted under the form of parzal. 
Nothing could show more plainly how characteristic 
of Canaan the trade of the ironsmith must have been, 


and how largely the use of iron must have there super- 
seded the use of bronze. The fact is in accordance 
with the references in the annate of Thothmes III. to 
the iron that was received by him from Syria; it is 
also in accordance with the statements of the Bible, 
where we read of the "chariots of iron " in which the 
Canaanites rode to war. Indeed there seems to have 
been a special class of wandering ironsmiths in Pales- 
tine, like the wandering ironsmiths of mediaeval 
Europe, who jealously guarded the secrets of their 
trade, and formed not only a peculiar caste, but even 
a peculiar race. The word Kain means "a smith," 
and the nomad Kenites of whom we read in the Old 
Testament were simply the nomad race of "smiths," 
whose home was the tent or cavern. Hence it was 
that while they were not Israelites, they were just as 
little Canaanites, and hence it was, too, that the Philis- 
tines were able to deprive the Israelites of the services 
of a smith (1 Sam. xiii. 19). All that was necessary 
was to prevent the Kenites from settling within Israel- 
itish territory. There was no Israelite who knew the 
secrets of the profession and could take their place, 
and the Canaanites who lived under Israelitish pro- 
tection were equally ignorant of the ironsmith's art. 
Though the ironsmith had made himself a home in 
Canaan he never identified himself with its inhabit- 
ants. The Kenites remained a separate people, and 
could consequently be classed as such by the side of 
the Hivites, or "villagers," and the Perizzites, or 

If the Travels of a Mohar are a guide-book to the 
geography of Palestine in the age of the nineteenth 
Egyptian dynasty, the lists of places conquered by 
Thothmes III., and engraved by his orders on the 



walls of his temple at Karnak, are a sort of atlas of 
Canaanite geography in the age of the eighteenth 
dynasty. The name of each locality is enclosed in a 
cartouche and surmounted by the head and shoulders 
of a Canaanitish captive. The hair and eyes of the 
figures are painted black, or rather dark purple, while 
the skin is alternately red and yellow. The yellow 
represents the olive ""tint of the Mediterranean popula- 
tion, the red denotes the effects of sunburn. An exam- 
ination of the names contained in the cartouches makes 
it clear that they have been derived from the memor- 
anda made by the scribes who accompanied the army 
of the Pharaoh in its campaigns. Sometimes the 
same name is repeated twice, and not always in the 
same form. We may conclude, therefore, that the 
memoranda had not always been made by the same 
reporter, and that the compiler of the lists drew his 
materials from different sources. It is further clear 
that the memoranda had been noted down in the 
cuneiform characters of Babylonia and not in the 
hieroglyphics of Egypt. Thus, as we have seen, the 
name of Beth-el is transcribed from its Babylonian 
form of Bit-sa-ili, the Assyrian equivalent of the 
Hebrew Beth-el. 

The names have been copied from the memoranda 
of the scribes in the order in which they occurred, and 
without any regard to their relative importance. While, 
therefore, insignificant villages are often noted, the 
names of important cities are sometimes passed over. 
Descriptive epithets, moreover, like abel "meadow," 
arets "land," har "mountains," 'emeq "valley." 'en 
"spring," are frequently treated as if they were local 
names, and occupy separate cartouches. We must 
not, consequently, expect to find in the lists any ex- 


haustive catalogue of Palestinian towns or even of 
the leading cities. They mark only the lines of march 
taken by the army of Thothmes or by his scouts and 

Besides the Canaanitish lists there are also long lists 
of localities conquered by the Pharaoh in Northern 
Syria. With these, however, we have nothing to do. 
It is to the places in Canaan that our attention must 
at present be confined. They are said to be situated 
in the country of the Upper Lotan, or, as another list 
gives it, in the country of the Fenkhu. In the time 
of Thothmes III., accordingly, the land of the Upper 
Lotan and the land of the Fenkhu were synonymous 
terms, and alike denoted what we now call Palestine. 
In the word Fenkhu it is difficult not to see the origin 
of the Greek Phcenix or "Phoenician." 

The lists begin with Kadesh, on the Orontes, the 
head of the confederacy, the defeat of which laid 
Canaan at the feet of the Pharaoh. Then comes 
Megiddo, where the decisive battle took place, and 
the forces of the king of Kadesh were overthrown. 
Next we have Khazi, mentioned also in the Tel el- 
Amarna tablets, from which we learn that it was in 
the hill-country south of Megiddo. It may be the Gaza 
of 1 Chronicles (vii. 28), which was supplanted by 
Shechem in Israelitish days. Kitsuna, the Kuddasuna 
of the Tel el-Amarna tablets, follows : where it stood 
we do not know. The next name, "the Spring of 
Shiu," is equally impossible to identify. The sixth 
name, however, is Tubikhu, about which the cunei- 
form tablets of Tel el-Amarna have told us a good 
deal, and which seems to be the Tibhath of 1 Chron- 
icles (xviii. 8). It was in Ccele-Syria, like Kamta, the 
Kumidi of the tablets, which follows in one list, 
n 2 


though its place is taken by the unknown Bami in 
another. After this we have the names of Tuthina 
(perhaps Dothan), Lebana, and Kirjath-niznau, fol- 
lowed by Marum or Merom the modern Meirom, by 
Tamasqu or Damascus, by the Abel of Atar, and by 
Hamath. Aqidu, the seventeenth name, is unknown, 
but Mr. Tomkins is probably right in thinking that 
the next name, that of Shemnau, must be identified 
with the Shimron of Joshua (xix. 15), where the Sep- 
tuagint reads Symeon. That this reading is correct is 
shown by the fact that in the days of Josephus and 
the Talmud the place was called Simonias, while the 
modern name is Semunieh. The tablets of Tel el- 
Amarna make it Samkhuna. 

Six unknown names come next, the first of which 
is a Beeroth, or "Wells." Then we have Mesekh, 
"the place of unction," called Musikhuna in the Tel 
el-Amarna correspondence, Qana and 'Arna. Both 
Qana and 'Arna appear in the account of the battle 
before Megiddo, and must have been in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of that city. One of the affluents 
of the Kishon flowed past Qana, while 'Arna was 
hidden in a defile. It was there that the tent of 
Thothmes was pitched two days before the great 
battle. The brook of Qana seems to have been the 
river Qanah of to-day, and 'Arna may be read 'Aluna. 

We are now transported to the eastern bank of the 
Jordan, to 'Astartu in the land of Bashan, the Ash- 
taroth-Karnaim of Genesis, the Tel 'Ashtarah of 
modern geography. With 'Astartu is coupled Anau- 
repa, explained by Mr. Tomkins to be "On of the 
Rephaim " (Gen. xiv. 5). At any rate it is clearly the 
Raphon or Raphana of classical writers, the Er-Rafeh 
of to-day. Next we have Maqata, called Makhed in 


the First Book of Maccabees, and now known as 
Mukatta; Lus or Lius, the Biblical Laish, which 
under its later name of Dan became the northern limit 
of the Israelitish kingdom; and Hazor, the strong- 
hold of Jabin, whose king we hear of in the Tel el- 
Amarna tablets. Then come Pahil or Pella, east of 
the Jordan, famous in the annals of early Christianity ; 
Kennartu, the Chinneroth of the Old Testament (Josh. 
xi. 2, 1 Kings xv. 20), from which the Sea of Galilee 
took one of its names; Shemna, the site of which is 
uncertain ; and Atmam, the Adami of Joshua (xix. 33). 
These are followed by Qasuna, in which we find the 
Kishion of Issachar (Josh. xix. 20) ; Shanam or 
Shunem, now Solam, north of Jezreel ; Mash-al, the 
Misheal of Scripture; and Aksap or Ekdippa on the 
Phoenician coast. Then, after a name which cannot be 
identified, we read those of Ta'anak, the Ta'anach of 
the Bible, the Ta'anuk of to-day ; Ible'am, near which 
Ahaziah of Judah was slain by the servants of Jehu; 
Gantu-Asna, "the garden of Asnah " ; Lot-melech, 
"Lot of the king"; 'Aina, "the Spring"; and 'Aak, 
or Acre. From Acre we are taken along the coast 
southward to Rosh Kadesh, "the sacred headland" 
of Carmel, whose name follows immediately under the 
form of Karimna. Next we have Beer, "the Well," 
Shemesh-Atum, and Anakhertu. Anakhertu is the 
Anaharath of Joshua (xix. 19), which belonged to the 
tribe of Issachar. 

Of Shemesh-Atum we hear again in one of the 
inscriptions of Amenophis III. A revolt had broken 
out in the district of the Lebanon, and the king accord- 
ingly marched into Canaan to suppress it. Shemesh- 
Atum was the first city to feel the effects of his anger, 
and he carried away from it eighteen prisoners and 


thirteen oxen. The name of the town shows that it 
was dedicated to the Sun-god. In Hebrew it would 
appear as Shemesh-Edom, and an Egyptian papyrus, 
now at Ley den, informs us that Atum or Edom was 
the wife of Resheph the Canaanitish god of fire and 
lightning. In Shemesh-Atum or Shemesh-Edom we 
therefore have a compound name signifying that the 
Shemesh or Sun-god denoted by it was not the male 
divinity of the customary worship, but the Sun-goddess 
Edom. In Israelitish times the second element in the 
compound seems to have been dropped; at all events 
it is probable that Shemesh-Atum was the Beth- 
Shemesh of the Old Testament (Josh. xix. 22), which 
is mentioned along with Anaharath as in the borders 
of Issachar. 

After Anaharath come two unknown Ophrahs; then 
Khasbu and Tasult, called Khasabu and Tusulti in 
the Tel el-Amarna letters; then Negebu, perhaps the 
Nekeb of Galilee (Josh. xix. 33), Ashushkhen, Anam, 
and Yurza. Yurza is now represented by the ruins of 
Yerza, south-eastward of Ta'anach, and there are 
letters from its governor in the Tel el-Amarna col- 
lection. Its name is followed by those of Makhsa, 
Yapu or Joppa, and "the country of Gantu " or Gath. 
Next we have Luthen or Ruthen, which is possibly 
Lydda, Ono, Apuqen, Suka or Socho, and Yahem. 
Among the cartouches that follow we read the names 
of a Migdol, of Shebtuna, the modern Shebtin, of 
Naun which reminds us of the name of Joshua's father, 
and of Haditha, now Haditheh, five miles to the west 
of Shebtin. 

The list has thus led us to the foot of Mount 
Ephraim, and it is not surprising that the next name 
should be that of the Har or "Mountain " itself. This 


is followed by a name which is full of interest, for it 
reads Joseph-el or "Joseph-god." How the name of 
Joseph came to be attached in the time of Thothmes 
to the mountainous region in which "the House of 
Joseph " afterwards established itself is hard to ex- 
plain ; we must remember, however, as has been stated 
in a former chapter, that according to the Chronicler 
(1 Chron. vii. 21, 22), already in the lifetime of 
Ephraim his sons were slain by the men of Gath, 
"because they came down to take away their cattle." 1 
Three names further on we find another compound 
with el, Har-el, "the mount of God." In Ezek. xliii. 
15 Har-el is used to denote the "altar" which should 
stand in the temple on Mount Moriah, and Mount 
Moriah is itself called "the Mount of the Lord" in 
the Book of Genesis (xxii. 14). It may be, therefore, 
that in the Har-el of the Egyptian list we have the 
name of the mountain whereon the temple of Solomon 
was afterwards to be built. However this may be, the 
names which follow it show that we are in the neigh- 
bourhood of Jerusalem. One after the other come 
Lebau, Na'mana or Na'amah (Josh. xv. 41), Meromim 
"the heights," 'Ani "the two springs," Rehob, Ekron, 
Hekalim "the palaces," the Abel or "meadow" of 
Autar'a, the Abel, the Gantau or "gardens," the 
Maqerput or "tilled ground," and the 'Aina or 
"Spring" of Carmel, which corresponds with the 
Gath-Carmel of the Tel el-Amarna tablets, the Carmel 
of Judah of the Old Testament. Then we have Beth- 

1 Dr. Pinches was the first to discover in early Babylonian 
contracts of the age of Amraphel the name of Yasupu-ilu or Joseph- 
el, as well as that of Yakub-ilu or Jacob-el and Yakub. The 
discovery is of high importance when we remember that Abraham 
migrated from Ur of the Chaldees, and adds another to the many 
debts of gratitude due to Dr. Pinches from Biblical students. 


Ya, a name which reminds us of that of "Bithia, the 
daughter of Pharaoh," whom Mered, the descendant 
of Caleb, took to wife, and whose stepson was Yered, 
"the father of Gedor " (i Chron. iv. 18). Beth-Ya 
is followed by Tapun, which was fortified by the 
Greeks after the death of Judas Maccabaeus (i Mace, 
ix. 50), by the Abel of Yertu or Yered, perhaps 
the district of the Jordan, by Halkal, and by Jacob-el, 
a name formed in the same way as that of Joseph-el. 
We may see in it an evidence that the memory of 
the patriarch was kept alive in the south of Palestine. 
The next two names are unknown, but they are fol- 
lowed by Rabatu or Rabbah of Judah, Magharatu, the 
Ma'arath of Joshua (xv. 59), 'Emequ, "the valley " of 
Hebron, Sirta and Bartu, the Bor has-Sirah, or "Well 
of Sirah " of 2 Samuel (iii. 26). Then come Beth-sa-el 
or Beth-el in its Babylonian dress; Beth-Anta or Beth- 
Anath (Josh. xv. 59), where the Babylonian goddess 
Anatu was worshipped; Helkath (2 Sam. ii. 16); the 
Spring of Qan'am; Gibeah of Judah (2 Sam. vi. 
3, 4; see Josh, xviii. 28); Zelah (Josh, xviii. 28), called 
Zilu by Ebed-Kheba of Jerusalem; and Zafta, the 
Biblical Zephath (Judges i. 17). The last three names 
in the catalogue — Barqna, Hum, and Aktomes — have 
left no traces in Scriptural or classical geography. 

The geographical lists of Thothmes III. served as a 
model for the Pharaohs who came after him. They 
also adorned the walls of their temples with the names 
of the places they had captured in Palestine, in 
Northern Syria, and in the Soudan, and when a large 
space had to be filled the sculptor was not careful to 
insert in it only the names of such foreign towns as 
had been actually conquered. The older lists were 
drawn upon, and the names which had appeared in 


them were appropriated by the later king, sometimes 
in grotesquely misspelt forms. The climax of such 
empty claims to conquests which had never been made 
was reached at Kom Ombo, where Ptolemy Lathyrus, 
a prince who, instead of gaining fresh territory, lost 
what he had inherited, is credited with the subjugation 
of numerous nations and races, many of whom, like 
the Hittites, had long before vanished from the page 
of history. The last of the Pharaohs whose geo- 
graphical list really represents his successes in Pales- 
tine was Shishak, the opponent of Rehoboam and the 
founder of the twenty-second dynasty. The catalogue 
of places engraved on the wall of the shrine he built 
at Karnak is a genuine and authentic record. 

So, too, are the lists given by the kings who imme- 
diately followed Thothmes III., Amenophis III. of 
the eighteenth dynasty, Seti I. and Ramses II. of the 
nineteenth, and Ramses III. of the twentieth. It is 
true that in some cases the list of one Pharaoh has 
been slavishly copied by another, but it is also true 
that these Pharaohs actually overran and subjugated 
the countries to which the lists belong. Of this we 
have independent testimony. 

At one time it was the fashion to throw doubt on 
the alleged conquests of Ramses II. in Western Asia. 
This was the natural reaction from the older belief, 
inherited from the Greek writers of antiquity, that 
Ramses II. was a universal conqueror who had carried 
his arms into Europe, and even to the confines of the 
Caucasus. With the overthrow of this belief came a 
disbelief in his having been a conqueror at all. The 
disbelief was encouraged by the boastful vanity of his 
inscriptions, as well as by the absence in them of any 
details as to his later Syrian wars. 


But we now know that such scepticism was over- 
hasty. It was like the scepticism which refused to 
admit that Canaan had been made an Egyptian pro- 
vince by Thothmes III., and which needed the testi- 
mony of the Tel el-Amarna tablets before it could be 
removed. As a matter of fact, Egyptian authority was 
re-established throughout Palestine and even on the 
eastern bank of the Jordan during the reign of 
Ramses II., and the conquests of the Pharaoh in 
Northern Syria were real and not imaginary. Such 
has been the result of the discoveries of the last three 
or four years. 

We have no reason to doubt that the campaigns of 
Ramses III. in Asia were equally historical. The 
great confederacy of northern barbarians and Asiatic 
invaders which had poured down upon Egypt had 
been utterly annihilated; the Egyptian army was 
flushed with victory, and Syria, overrun as it had been 
by the invaders from the north, was in no position to 
resist a fresh attack. Moreover, the safety of Egypt 
required that Ramses should follow up the destruction 
of his assailants by carrying the war into Asia. But 
it is noticeable that the places he claims to have con- 
quered, whether in Canaan or further north, lay along 
the lines of two high-roads, and that the names of the 
great towns even on these high-roads are for the most 
part conspicuously absent. The names, however, are 
practically those already enumerated by Ramses II., 
and they occur in the same order. But the list given 
by Ramses III. could not have been copied from the 
older list of Ramses II. for a very sufficient reason. 
In some instances the names as given by the earlier 
monarch are misspelt, letters having been omitted in 
them or wrong letters having been written in place of 


the right ones, while in the list of Ramses III. the 
same names are correctly written. 

Seti I., the father of Ramses II., seems to have been 
too fully engaged in his wars in Northern Syria, and 
in securing the road along the coast of the Mediter- 
ranean, to attempt the re-conquest of Palestine. At 
Ournah, however, we find the names of 'Aka, or Acre, 
Zamith, Pella, Beth-el (Beth-sha-il), Inuam, Kimham 
(Jer. xli. 17), Kamdu, Tyre, Usu, Beth-Anath, and 
Carmel among those of the cities he had vanquished, 
but there is no trace of any occupation of Southern 
Canaan. That seems to have come later with the 
beginning of his son's reign. 

On the walls of the Ramesseum at Thebes there are 
pictures of the storming and capture of the Palestinian 
cities. Most of them are now destroyed, but we can 
still read the names of Askhelon, of Salem, or Jeru- 
salem, of Beth-Anath and Qarbu[tu], of Dapul in the 
land of the Amorites, of Merom, of Damascus, and of 
Inuam. Elsewhere we have mention of Yurza and 
Socho, while at Karnak there are two geographical 
lists which mark two of the lines of march taken by 
the troops of Ramses II. The first list contains the 
following names: (1) the district of Salem; (2) the 
district of Rethpana; (3) the country of the Jordan; 
(4) Khilz ; (5) Karhu ; (6) Uru ; (7) Abel ; (8) Carmel ; 
(9) the upper district of Tabara or Debir; (10) Shim- 
shon; and (11) Erez Hadashta, "the new land." In 
the second list we read: (1) Rosh Kadesh, or Mount 
Carmel; (2) Inzat; (3) Maghar; (4) Rehuza; (5) 
Saabata; (6) Gaza; (7) the district of Sala' ; (8) the 
district of Zasr; (9) Jacob-el; and (10) the land of 
Akrith, the Ugarit of the Tel el-Amarna tablets. 

We have already seen that long before the time 


of Ramses II. Jerusalem was an important city and 
fortress, the capital of a territory of some size, known 
by the name of Uru-Salim, "the city of the god of 
salvation." "The city of Salem" could easily be 
abbreviated into "Salem" only; and it is accordingly 
Salem which alone is used in the fourteenth chapter 
of Genesis as well as in the inscriptions of Ramses II. 
and Ramses III. The name of Rethpana, which 
follows that of Salem, is faultily written in the list of 
Ramses II., and it is from that of Ramses III. that 
we have to recover its true form. Ramses III., more- 
over, tells us that Rethpana was a lake, and since its 
name comes between those of Jerusalem and the 
Jordan it must represent the Dead Sea. The Canaan- 
ite form of Rethpana would be Reshpon, a derivative 
from the name of Resheph, the god of fire and light- 
ning, whose name is preserved in that of the town 
Arstif, and whose "children" were the sparks (Job. 
v. 7). The name was appropriate to a region which 
was believed to have been smitten with a tempest of 
flames, and of which we are told that "the Lord rained 
upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire." 
Khilz, the fourth name in the list, is probably the 
Babylonian Khalsu, or "fortress." At all events it 
was the first town on the eastern side of the Jordan, 
and it may well therefore have guarded the ford across 
the river. Karhu is the Korkha of the Moabite Stone, 
perhaps the modern Kerak, which was the capital of 
Moab in the age of Ahab, and Uru is the Babylonian 
form of the Moabite Ar, or "city," of which we read 
in the Book of Numbers (xxi. 28). The land of 
" Moab " itself is one of the countries which Ramses 
claims to have subdued. The Carmel mentioned in 
the list is Carmel of Judah, not the more famous 


Carmel on the coast. As for Tabara or Debir, it will 
be that ancient seat of Canaanite learning and litera- 
ture, called Kirjath-Sepher and Debir in the Old 
Testament, the site of which is unfortunately still un- 
known. It must have lain, however, between Carmel 
and Shimshon, "the city of the Sun-god," with which 
it is probable that the Biblical Ir-Shemesh should be 
identified (Josh. xix. 41). Erez Hadashta, "the New 
Land," is called Hadashah in the Book of Joshua 
(xv. 37), where it is included among the possessions 
of Judah. 

The second list, instead of taking us through Judah 
and Moab, leads us southward along the coast from 
Mount Carmel. Maghar is termed by Ramses III. 
"the spring of the Maghar," and is the Magoras or 
river of Beyrout of classical geography. The river 
took its name from the maghdrat or "caves" past 
which it runs, and of which we have already heard 
in the Travels of a Mohar. The two next names which 
represent places on the coast to the north of Gaza are 
quite unknown, but Sala', which is written Selakh by 
Ramses III. (from a cuneiform original), is possibly 
the rock-city Sela (2 Kings xiv. 7), better known to 
us as Petra. Of Jacob-el we have already had occasion 
to speak. 

It is in the ruined temple of Medinet Habu that 
Ramses III. has recorded his victories and inscribed 
the names of the peoples and cities he had overcome. 
We gather from the latter that his armies had followed 
the roads already traversed by Ramses II., had 
marched through the south of Palestine into Moab, 
and had made their way along the seacoast into 
Northern Syria. One after the other we read the 
names of Hir-nam or Har-nam, called Har-Nammata 


in the Mohar's Travels, of Lebanoth, of Beth-Anath 
and Qarbutu (Josh. xv. 59), of Carmin, "the vine- 
yards," and Shabuduna or Shebtin, of Mashabir ( ?), 
of Hebron and its '£n or "Spring," of the "district of 
Libnah," of 'Aphekah and 'Abakhi (Josh. xv. 53), of 
Migdal — doubtless the Migdal-Gad of Joshua (xv. 53) 
— and Qarzak, of Carmel of Judah and the Upper Dis- 
trict of Debir, of Shimshon and Erez Hadasth, of the 
district of Salem or Jerusalem and the "Lake of Reth- 
pana," of the Jordan, of Khilz the fortress, of Korkha 
and of Uru. A second list gives us the line of march along 
the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. First we have 
'Akata, perhaps Joktheel in Judah (Josh. xv. 38), then 
Karka and [Zidijputh, Abel and the district of Sela', 
the district of Zasr and Jacob-el, Rehuza, Saaba and 
Gaza, Rosh-Kadesh, Inzath and the "Spring," Lui-el, 
which we might also read Levi-el, Bur, "the Cistern," 
Kamdu, "Qubur the great," Iha, Tur, and finally 
Sannur, the Saniru of the Assyrian texts, the Shenir 
of the Old Testament (Deut. iii. 9). This brings us to 
Mount Hermon and the land of the Amorites, so that 
it is not surprising to find after two more names that 
of Hamath. 

One point about this list is very noticeable. None 
of the great Phoenician cities of the coast are men- 
tioned in it. Acre, Ekdippa, Tyre, Sidon, and Bey- 
rout are all conspicuous by their absence. Even Joppa 
is unnamed. After Gaza we have only descriptive 
epithets like "the Spring" and "the Cistern," or the 
names of otherwise unknown villages. With Kamdu 
in Ccele-Syria the catalogue of cities begins afresh. 

It is plain that the northern campaign of the 
Pharaoh was little better than a raid. No attempt was 
made to capture the cities of the coast, and re-establish 

Egyptian travellers in canaan 20? 

in them the Egyptian power. The Egyptian army 
passed them by without any effort to reduce them. 
Possibly the Philistines had already settled on the 
coast, and had shown themselves too strong to be 
meddled with ; possibly the Egyptian fleet was acting 
in concert with the troops on land, and Ramses cared 
only to lead his forces to some spot on the north 
Syrian coast, from whence, if necessary, the ships 
could convey them home. Whatever may have been 
the reason, the fact remains that Gaza alone of the 
cities of the Canaanitish coast fell into the hands of 
the Pharaoh. It was only in the extreme south, in 
what was so soon afterwards to become the territory 
of Judah, that he overran the country and occupied 
the large towns. 

With the lists of Ramses III. our knowledge of the 
geography of Patriarchal Palestine is brought to a 
close. Henceforward we have to do with the Canaan 
of Israelitish conquest and settlement. The records 
of the Old Testament contain a far richer store of 
geographical names than we can ever hope to glean 
from the monuments of Egypt. But the latter show 
how little change, after all, was effected by the Israel- 
itish conquest in the local nomenclature of the country. 
A few cities disappeared like Kirjath-Sepher, but on 
the whole not only the cities, but even the villages, of 
pre-Israelitish Canaan survived under their old names. 
When we compare the names of the towns and villages 
of Judah enumerated in the Book of Joshua with the 
geographical lists of a Thothmes or a Ramses, we 
cannot but be struck by the coincidences between 
them. The occurrence of a name like Hadashah, 
"the New (Land)," in both cannot be the result of 
chance. It adds one more to the many arguments in 


favour of the antiquity of the Book of Joshua, or at 
all events of the materials of which it consists. Geo- 
graphy, at all events, gives no countenance to the 
theory which sees in the book a fabrication of later 
date. Even the leading cities of the Israelitish period 
are for the most part already the leading cities of the 
earlier Palestine. The future capital of David, for 
example, was already called Jerusalem long before 
the birth of Moses, and already occupied a foremost 
place among the kingdoms of Canaan. 



We have already learned from the annals of 
Thothmes III. how high was the state of civilization 
and culture among the merchant princes of Canaan in 
the age of the eighteenth Egyptian dynasty. Artistic- 
ally finished vases of gold and silver, rich bronzes, 
furniture carved out of ebony and cedar, and inlaid 
with ivory and precious stones — such were some of 
the manufactures of the land of Palestine. Iron was 
excavated from its hills and wrought into armour, 
into chariots, and into weapons of war ; while beauti- 
fully shaped vessels of variegated glass were manu- 
factured on the coast. The amber beads found at 
Lachish point to a trade with the distant Baltic, and 
it is possible that there may be truth, after all, in the 
old belief that the Phoenicians obtained their tin from 
the isles of Britain. The mines of Cyprus, indeed, 
yielded abundance of copper, but, so far as we know, 
there were only two parts of the world from which 
the nations of Western Asia and the Eastern Mediter- 
ranean could have procured the vast amount of tin 
needed in the Bronze Age — the Malayan Peninsula 
and Cornwall. The Malayan Peninsula is out of the 
question — there are no traces of any commercial inter- 
course so far to the East ; and it would seem, therefore, 
that we must look to Cornwall for the source of the 
o 209 


tin. If so the trade would probably have been over- 
land, like the amber trade from the Baltic. 

Canaan was marked out by nature to be a land of 
merchants. Its long line of coast fronted the semi- 
barbarous populations of Asia Minor, of the ^gean, 
and of the northern shores of Africa, while the sea 
furnished it with the purple dye of the murex. The 
country itself formed the high-road and link between 
the great kingdoms of the Euphrates and the Nile. 
It was here that the two civilizations of Babylonia and 
Egypt met and coalesced, and it was inevitable that 
the Canaanites, who possessed all the energy and 
adaptive quickness of a commercial race, should 
absorb and combine the elements of both. There was 
little except this combination that was original in 
Canaanitish art, but when once the materials were 
given, the people of Palestine knew how to work them 
up into new and graceful forms, and adapt them 
practically to the needs of the foreign world. 

If we would realize the change brought about by 
this contact of Canaan with the culture of the stranger, 
we must turn to the rude figures carved upon the rocks 
in some of the valleys of Phoenicia. Near Tyre, for 
example, in the Wadi el-Qana we may still see some 
of these primitive sculptures, in which it is difficult 
even to recognize the human form. Equally barbar- 
ous in style are the early seals and cylinders made in 
imitation of those of Babylonia. It seems at first sight 
impossible to believe that such grotesque and child- 
like beginnings should have ended in the exquisite 
art of the age of Thothmes III. 

At that period, however, Canaan already had behind 
it a long civilized past. The country was filled with 
schools and libraries, with richly-furnished palaces, 


and the workshops of the artisans. The cities on the 
coast had their fleets partly of merchantmen, partly of 
warships, and an active trade was carried on with all 
parts of the known world. The result was that the 
wealth of Palestine was enormous ; the amount carried 
away by Thothmes is alone sufficient to prove it. 
Apart from the natural productions of the country — 
corn, wine, and oil, or the slaves which it had to 
furnish — immense quantities of gold, silver, and 
precious stones, sometimes in their native state, some- 
times manufactured into artistic forms, were trans- 
ported into Egypt. And in spite of this drain upon 
its resources, the supply seems never to have failed. 

The reciprocal influence of the civilizations of 
Canaan and Egypt one upon the other, in the days 
when Canaan was an Egyptian province, is reflected 
in the languages of the two countries. On the one 
hand the Canaanite borrowed from Egypt words like 
tebah "ark," hin "a measure," and ebyon "poor," 
while Canaan in return copiously enriched the vocabu- 
lary of its conquerors. As the Travels of a Mohar 
have shown us, under the nineteenth dynasty there 
was a mania for using Canaanitish words and phrases, 
similar to that which has more than once visited Eng- 
lish society in respect to French. But before the rise 
of the nineteenth dynasty the Egyptian lexicon was 
already full of Semitic words. Frequently they de- 
noted objects which had been imported from Syria. 
Thus a "chariot " was called a merkabut, a "waggon " 
being agolta; hurpu, "a sword," was the Cananitish 
khereb, just as aspata, "a quiver," was ashpdh. The 
Canaanitish kinnor, "a lyre," was similarly natural- 
ized in Egypt, like the names of certain varieties of 
"Syrian bread." The Egyptian words for "incense" 
o 2 


(qadamta), "oxen" (abiri), and "sea" (yum) were 
taken from the same source, though it is possible that 
the last-mentioned word, like qamhu, "wheat," had 
been introduced from Syria in the earliest days of 
Egyptian history. As might have been expected, 
several kinds of sea-going vessels brought with them 
their native names from the Phoenician coast. 
Already in the time of the thirteenth dynasty the 
larger ships were termed Kabanitu, or "Gebalite" we 
read also of "boats " called Za, the Canaanite 7A, while 
a transport was entitled qauil, the Phoenician gol. 
The same name was imported into Greek under the 
form of gaulos, and we are told that it signified "a 
Phoenician vessel of rounded shape." 

The language of Canaan was practically that which 
we call Hebrew. Indeed Isaiah (xix. 18) speaks of the 
two dialects as identical, and the so-called Phoenician 
inscriptions that have been preserved to us show that 
the differences between them were hardly appreciable. 
There were differences, however; the Hebrew definite 
article, for instance, is not found in the Phoenician 
texts. But the differences are dialectical only, like the 
differences which the discovery of the Moabite Stone 
has shown to have existed between the languages of 
Moab and Israel. 

How the Israelites came to adopt "the language of 
Canaan " is a question into which we cannot here 
enter. There have been other examples of conquerors 
who have abandoned the language of their forefathers 
and adopted that of the conquered people. And it 
must be remembered, on the one hand, that the an- 
cestors of Israel had lived in Canaan, where they 
would have learnt the language of the country, and, 
on the other hand, that their original tongue was itself 


a Semitic form of speech, as closely related to Hebrew 
as French or Spanish is to Italian. 

The Tel el-Amarna tablets have told us something 
about the language of Canaan as it was spoken before 
the days when the Israelites entered the land. Some 
of the letters that were sent from Palestine contain 
the Canaanite equivalents of certain Babylonian words 
that occur in them. Like the Babylonian words, they 
are written in cuneiform characters, and since these 
denote syllables and not mere letters we know exactly 
how the words were pronounced. It is an advantage 
which is denied us by the Phoenician alphabet, 
whether in the inscriptions of Phoenicia or in the 
pages of the Old Testament, and we can thus obtain 
a better idea of the pronunciation of the Canaanitish 
language in the century before the Exodus than we 
can of the Hebrew language in the age of Hezekiah. 

Among the words which have been handed down to 
us by the correspondents of the Pharaoh are maqani 
"cattle," anay "a ship," siisi "a horse," of which the 
Hebrew equivalents, according to the Masoretic 
punctuation, are miqneh, oni, and sus. The king of 
Jerusalem says anuki, "I," the Hebrew anochi, while 
badiu, the Hebrew b'yado, and akharnnu, the Hebrew 
akharono, are stated to signify "in his hand," and 
"after him." "Dust" is, where the guttural 
gh represents the Canaanitish ayyin ('); "stomach" 
is batnu, the Hebrew beten; while kilubi, "a cage," 
corresponds with the Hebrew chelub, which is used 
in the same sense by the prophet Jeremiah. Else- 
where we find rusu, the Hebrew rosh, "a head," har, 
"a mountain," samama "heaven," and mima "water," 
in Hebrew shdmayim and mayim, which we gather 
from the cuneiform spelling have been wrongly 


punctuated by the Masoretes, as well as khaya 
"living," the Hebrew khai, and makhzu, "they have 
smitten him," the Hebrew makhatsu. 

It was the use of the definite article ha(n) which 
mainly distinguished Hebrew and Phoenician or 
Canaanite one from the other. And we have a curious 
indication in the Tel el-Amarna tablets, that the same 
distinction prevailed between the language of the 
Canaanites and that of the Edomites, who, as we learn 
from the Old Testament, were so closely related to 
the Israelites. In the letter to the Pharaoh, in which 
mention is made of the hostilities carried on by Edom 
against the Egyptian territory, one of the Edomite 
towns referred to is called Khinianabi. Transcribed 
into Hebrew characters this would be 'En-han-nabi, 
"the Spring of the Prophet." Here, therefore, the 
Hebrew article makes its appearance, and that too in 
the very form which it has in the language of Israel. 
The fact is an interesting commentary on the brother- 
hood of Jacob and Esau. 

If the language of Canaan was influenced by that 
of Egypt, still more was it influenced by that of Baby- 
lonia. Long before Palestine became an Egyptian 
province it had been a province of Babylonia. And 
even when it was not actually subject to Babylonian 
government it was under the dominion of Babylonian 
culture. War and trade alike forced the Chaldaean 
civilization upon "the land of the Amorites," and the 
Canaanites were not slow to take advantage of it. The 
cuneiform writing of Babylonia was adopted, and 
therewith the language of Babylonia was taught and 
learned in the schools and libraries which were estab- 
lished in imitation of those of the Babylonians. Baby- 
lonian literature was introduced into the West, and 


the Canaanite youth became acquainted with the his- 
tory and legends, the theology and mythology of the 
dwellers on the Euphrates and Tigris. 

Such literary contact naturally left its impress on 
the language of Canaan. Words which the Semites 
of Babylonia had borrowed from the older Sumerian 
population of the country were handed on to the 
peoples of Palestine. The "city" had been a Sume- 
rian creation ; until brought under the influence of 
Sumerian culture, the Semite had been contented to 
live in tents. Indeed in Babylonian or Assyrian — 
the language of the Semitic inhabitants of Babylonia 
and Assyria — the word which signified "tent" was 
adopted to express the idea of "city" when the tent 
had been exchanged for city-life. In Canaan, on the 
other hand, "the Sumerian word itself was adopted in 
a Semitic form. 'Ir, 'at, or uru, "city," was originally 
the Sumerian eri. 

The Canaanitish hekdl, "a palace," again, came 
from a Sumerian source. This was e-gal, or "great 
house." But it had passed to the west through the 
Semitic Babylonians, who had first borrowed the com- 
pound word under the form of ekallu. Like the city, 
the palace also was unknown to the primitive Semitic 
nomads. It belonged to the civilization of which the 
Sumerians of Chaldaea, with their agglutinative lan- 
luage, were the pioneers. 

The borrowing, however, was not altogether one- 
sided. Palestine enriched the literary language of 
Babylonia with certain words, though these do not 
seem to have made their way into the language of the 
people. Thus we find words like bin-bini, "grand- 
son," and inu, "wine," recorded in the lexical tablets 
of Babylonia and Assyria. Doubtless there were 


writers on the banks of the Euphrates who were as 
anxious to exhibit their knowledge of the language of 
Canaan as were the Egyptian scribes of the nineteenth 
dynasty, though their literary works have not yet 
been discovered. 

The adoption of the Babylonian system of writing 
must have worked powerfully on the side of tincturing 
the Canaanitish language with Babylonian words. In 
the age of the Tel el-Amarna tablets there is no sign 
that any other system was known in the west. It is 
true that the letters sent to the Pharaoh from Palestine 
were written in the Babylonian language as well as in 
the Babylonian script, but we have evidence that the 
cuneiform characters were also used for the native 
language of the country. M. de Clercq possesses two 
seal-cylinders of the same date as the Tel el-Amarna 
correspondence, on one of which is the cuneiform in- 
scription — " Hadad-sum, the citizen of Sidon, the 
crown of the gods," while on the other is "Anniy, 
the son of Hadad-sum, the citizen of Sidon." On the 
first, Hadad-sum is represented as standing with his 
hands uplifted before the Egyptian god Set, while 
behind him is the god Resheph with a helmet on his 
head, a shield in one hand and a battle-axe in the 
other. On the seal of Anniy, Set and Resheph again 
make their appearance, but instead of the owner of 
the cylinder it is the god Horus who stands between 

When the cuneiform syllabary was superseded in 
Palestine by the so-called Phoenician alphabet we do 
not know. The introduction of the new script was due 
perhaps to the Hittite invasion, which separated the 
Semites of the west from the Semites of the east. 
The Hittite occupation of Carchemish blocked the 


high-road of Babylonian trade to the Mediterranean, 
and when the sacred city of Kadesh, on the Orontes, 
fell into Hittite hands it was inevitable that Hittite 
rather than Babylonian influence would henceforth 
prevail in Canaan. However this may be, it seems 
natural to suppose that the scribes of Zebulon referred 
to in the Song of Deborah and Barak (Judges v. 14) 
wrote in the letters of the Phoenician alphabet and not 
in the cuneiform characters of Babylonia. As long, 
indeed, as the old libraries remained open and access- 
ible, with their stores of cuneiform literature, there 
must have been some who could read them, but they 
would have been rather the older inhabitants of the 
country than the alien conquerors from the desert. 
When the Moabite Stone was engraved, it is clear 
from the forms of the letters that the Phoenician 
alphabet had long been in use in the kingdom of 
Mesha. The resemblance of these letters to those 
found in the earliest of the Greek inscriptions makes 
it equally clear that the introduction of the alphabet 
into the islands of the ^Egean must have taken place 
at no distant period frpm the age of the Moabite Stone. 
Such an introduction, however, implies that the new 
alphabet had already taken deep root among the mer- 
chants of Canaan, and driven out before it the cum- 
brous syllabary of Chaldaea. It was in this alphabet 
that Hiram and Solomon corresponded together, and 
it is probable that it was introduced for official pur- 
poses in the time of David. In the Mosaic age, at all 
events, the cuneiform characters were still used. 

As we have already seen, the elements of Baby- 
lonian art were quickly absorbed by the Canaanites. 
The seal-cylinder was imitated, at first with but in- 
different success, and such Babylonian ornamental 


designs as the rosette, the sacred tree, and the winged 
cherub were taken over and developed in a special 
way. At times the combination with them of designs 
borrowed from Egypt produced a new kind of artistic 

But it was in the realm of religion that the influence 
of Babylonia was most powerful. Religion, especially 
in the ancient world, was inextricably bound up with 
its culture : it was impossible to adopt the one without 
adopting a good deal of the other at the same time. 
Moreover, the Semites of Babylonia and of Canaan 
belonged to the same race, and that meant a com- 
munity of inherited religious ideas. With both the 
supreme object of worship was Baal or Bel, " the lord," 
who was but the S^un-god under a variety of names. 
Each locality had its own special Baal : there were, 
in fact, as many Baals, or Baalim, as there were names 
and attributes for the Sun-god, and to the worshippers 
in each locality the Baal adored there was the supreme 
god. But the god resembled his worshipper who had 
been made in his image; he was the father and head 
of a family with a wife and son. The wife, it is true, 
was but the colourless reflection of the god, often 
indeed but the feminine Baalah, whom the Semitic 
languages with their feminine gender required to 
exist by the side of the masculine Baal. But this was 
only in accordance with the Semitic conception of 
woman as the lesser man, his servant rather than his 
companion, his shadow rather than his helpmeet. 

The existence of an independent goddess, unmarried 
and possessing all the attributes of the god, was 
contrary to the fundamental conceptions of the Semitic 
mind. Nevertheless we find in Canaan an Ashtoreth, 
whom the Greeks called Astarte, as well as a Baal. 


The cuneiform inscriptions have given us an explana- 
tion of the fact. 

Ashtoreth came from Babylonia. There she was 
known as Istar, the evening star. She had been one 
of those Sumerian goddesses who, in accordance with 
the Sumerian system, which placed the mother at the 
head of the family, were on an equal footing with the 
gods. She lay outside the circle of Semitic theology 
with its divine family, over which the male Baal pre- 
sided, and the position she occupied in later Baby- 
lonian religion was due to the fusion between the 
Sumerian and Semitic forms of faith, which took place 
when the Semites became the chief element in Baby- 
lonia. But Sumerian influence and memories were 
too strong to allow of any transformation either in the 
name or in the attributes of the goddess. She re- 
mained Istar, without any feminine suffix, and it was 
never forgotten that she was the evening star. 

It was otherwise in the west. There Istar became 
Ashtoreth with the feminine termination, and passed 
eventually into a Moon-goddess "with crescent 
horns." Ashtoreth-Karnaim, "Ashtoreth with the 
two horns," was already in existence in the age of 
Abraham." In Babylonia the Moon-god of ancient 
Sumerian belief had never been dethroned; but there 
was no Moon-god in Canaan, and accordingly the 
transformation of the Babylonian goddess into "the 
queen of the night " was a matter of little difficulty. 

Once domesticated in Palestine, with her name so 
changed as to declare her feminine character, Ash- 
toreth soon tended to lose her independence." Just 
as there were Baalim or " Baals " by the side of Baal, 
so there were Ashtaroth or Ashtoreths " by the side 
of Ashtoreth. 


The Semites of Babylonia themselves had already 
begun the work of transformation. They too spoke 
of Istarat or "Istars," and used the word in the 
general sense of "goddesses." In Canaan, however, 
Ashtaroth had no such general meaning, but denoted 
simply the various Ashtoreths who were worshipped 
in different localities, and under different titles. The 
individual Ashtoreth of Gebal was separate from the 
individual Ashtoreth of Bashan, although they alike 
represented the same divine personality. 

It is true that even in the West Istar did not always 
become the feminine complement of Baal. Here and 
there the old form of the name was preserved, without 
any feminine suffix. But when this was the case, the 
necessary result was that the female character of the 
deity was forgotten. Istar was conceived of as a 
god, and accordingly in the Moabite Stone Ashtar is 
identified with Chemosh, the patron-god of Mesha, 
just as in Southern Arabia also Atthar is a male 

The worship of Ashtoreth absorbed that of the other 
goddesses of Canaan. Among them there was one 
who had once occupied a very prominent place. This 
was Asherah, the goddess of fertility, whose name is 
written Asirtu and Asratu in the tablets of Tel el- 
Amarna. Asherah was symbolized by a stem stripped 
of its branches, or an upright cone of stone, fixed in 
the ground, and the symbol and the goddess were at 
times confounded together. The symbol is mistrans- 
lated "grove" in the Authorized Version of the Old 
Testament, and it often stood by the side of the altar 
of Baal. We find it thus represented on early seals. 
In Palestine it was usually of wood; but in the great 
temple of Paphos in Cyprus there was an ancient and 


revered one of stone. This, however, came to be 
appropriated to Ashtoreth in the days when the older 
Asherah was supplanted by the younger Ashtoreth. 

We hear of other Canaanitish divinities from the 
monuments of Egypt. The goddess Edom, the wife 
of Resheph, has already been referred to. Her name 
is found in that of the Gittite, Obed-Edom, "the 
servant of Edom," in whose house the ark was kept 
for three months (2 Sam. vi. 10). Resheph, too, has 
been mentioned in an earlier page. He was the god 
of fire and lightning, and on the Egyptian monuments 
he is represented as armed with spear and helmet, and 
bears the titles of "great god " and "lord of heaven." 
Along with him we find pictures of a goddess called 
Kedesh and Kesh. She stands on the back of a lion, 
with flowers in her left hand and a serpent in her 
right, while on her head is the lunar disk between the 
horns of a cow. She may be the goddess Edom, or 
perhaps the solar divinity who was entitled A in Baby- 
lonian, and whose name enters into that of an Edomite 
king A-rammu, who is mentioned by Sennacherib. 

But, like Istar, a considerable number of the deities 
of Palestine were borrowed from Babylonia. In the 
Tel el-Amarna tablets the god of Jerusalem is identi- 
fied with the warlike Sun-god of Babylonia, Nin-ip, 
and there was a sanctuary of the name divinity further 
north, in Phoenicia. Foremost among the deities 
whose first home was on the banks of the Euphrates 
were Anu and Anat and Rimmon. Anu, whose name 
is written Anah in Hebrew, was the god of the sky, 
and he stood at the head of the Babylonian pantheon. 
His wife Anat was but a colourless reflection of him- 
self, a grammatical creation of the Semitic languages. 
But she shared in the honours that were paid to her 


consort, and the divinity that resided in him was re- 
flected upon her. Anat, like Ashtoreth, became multi- 
plied under many forms, and the Anathoth or "Anat " 
signified little more than "goddesses." Between the 
Ashtaroth and the Anathoth the difference was but in 

The numerous localities in Palestine which received 
their names from the god Rimmon are a proof of his 
popularity. The Babylonian Rimmon or Ramman 
was, strictly speaking, the god of the air, but in the 
West he was identified with the Sun-god Hadad, and 
a place near Megiddo bore the compound title of 
Hadad-Rimmon (Zech. xii. u). His naturalization 
in Canaan seems to belong to a very early period ; at 
all events, in Sumerian he was called Martu, "the 
Amorite," and seal-cylinders speak of "the Amorite 
god." One of these has been found in the 
Lebanon. The Assyrian tablets tell us that he was 
also known as Dadu in the west, and under this form 
we find him in names like El-Dad and Be-dad, or 

Like Rimmon, Nebo also must have been trans- 
ported to Palestine at an early epoch. Nebo "the 
prophet " was the interpreter of Bel-Merodach of 
Babylon, the patron of cuneiform literature, and the 
god to whom the great temple of Borsippa — the 
modern Birs-i-Nimrud — was dedicated. Doubtless he 
had migrated to the west along with that literary 
culture over which he presided. There his name and 
worship were attached to many localities. It was on 
the summit of Mount Nebo that Moses died; over 
Nebo, Isaiah prophesies, " Moab shall howl ; " and 
we hear of a city called "the other Nebo" in Judah 
(Neh. vii. 33). 


Another god who had been borrowed from Baby- 
lonia by the people of Canaan was Malik "the king," 
a title originally of the supreme Baal. Malik is 
familiarly known to us in the Old Testament as 
Moloch, to whom the first-born were burned in the 
fire. At Tyre the god was termed Melech-kirjath, 
or "king of the city," which was contracted into 
Melkarth, and in the mouths of the Greeks became 
Makar. There is a passage in the book of the prophet 
Amos (v. 25, 26), upon which the Assyrian texts have 
thrown light. We there read : " Have ye offered unto 
me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty 
years, O house of Israel ? Yet ye have borne Sikkuth 
your Malik and Chiun your Zelem, the star of your 
god, which ye made to yourselves." 

Sikkuth and Chiun are the Babylonian Sakkut and 
Kaivan, a name given to the planet Saturn. Sakkut 
was a title of the god Nin-ip, and we gather from 
Amos that it also represented Malik "the king." 
Zelem, "the image," was another Babylonian deity, 
and originally denoted "the image" or disk of the 
sun. His name and worship were carried into North- 
ern Arabia, and a monument has been discovered at 
Teima, the Tema of Jsaiah (xxi. 14), which is dedicated 
to him. It would seem, from the language of Amos, 
that the Babylonian god had been adored in "the 
wilderness " as far back as the days when the Israelites 
were encamping in it. Nor, indeed, is this surpris- 
ing : Babylonian influence in the west belonged to 
an age long anterior to that of the Exodus, and even 
the mountain whereon the oracles of God were re- 
vealed to the Hebrew lawgiver was Sinai, the moun- 
tain of Sin. The worship of Sin, the Babylonian 
Moon-god, must therefore have" made its way thus far 


into the deserts of Arabia. Inscriptions from South- 
ern Arabia have already shown us that there, too, Sin 
was known and adored. 

Dagon, again, was another god who had his first 
home in Babylonia. The name is of Sumerian origin, 
and he was associated with Anu, the god of the sky. 
Like Sin, he appears to have been worshipped at 
Harran ; at all events, Sargon states that he inscribed 
the laws of that city "according to the wish of Anu 
and Dagon." Along with Anu he would have been 
brought to Canaan, and though we first meet with 
his name in the Old Testament in connection with 
the Philistines, it is certain that he was already one 
of the deities of the country whom the Philistine in- 
vaders adopted. One of the Canaanitish governors 
in the Tel el-Amarna correspondence bears the 
Assyrian name of Dagon-takala, "we trust in Dagon." 
The Phoenicians made him the god of corn in con- 
sequence of the resemblance of his name to the word 
which signifies "corn "; primarily, however, he would 
have been a god of the earth. The idea that he was 
a fish-god is of post-Biblical date, and due to a false 
etymology, which derived his name from the Hebrew 
dag, "a fish." The fish-god of Babylonia, however, 
whose image is sometimes engraved on seals, was a 
form of Ea, the god of the deep, and had no con- 
nection with Dagon. 

Doubtless there were other divinities besides these 
whom the peoples of Canaan owed to the Babylonians. 
Mr. Tomkins is probably right in seeing in the name 
of Beth-lehem a reminiscence of the Babylonian god 
Lakhmu, who took part in the creation of the world, 
and whom a later philosophizing generation identified 
with Anu. But the theology of early Canaan is still 


but little known, and its pantheon is still in great 
measure a sealed book. Now and again we meet with 
a solitary passage in some papyrus or inscription on 
stone, which reveals to us for the first time the name 
of an otherwise unknown deity. Who, for instance) 
is the goddess 'Ashiti-Khaur, who is addressed, along 
with Kedesh, on an Egyptian monument now at 
Vienna as "the mistress of heaven " and "ruler of all 
the gods ? " The votive altars of Carthage make re- 
peated mention of the goddess Tanit, the Peni or 
" Face " of Baal, whom the Greeks identified with 
Artemis. She must have been known in the mother- 
land of Phoenicia, and yet no trace of her worship 
there has as yet been found. There were "gods many 
and lords many " in primitive Palestine, and though 
a comprehensive faith summed them up as its Baalim 
and Ashtaroth they yet had individual names and 
titles, as well as altars and priests. 

But though altars were numerous, temples were not 
plentiful. The chief seats of religious worship were 
"the high-places," level spots on the summits of hills 
or mountains, where altars were erected, and the wor- 
shipper was believed to be nearer the dwelling-place 
of the gods than he would have been in the plain 
below. The altar was frequently some natural boulder 
of rock, consecrated by holy oil, and regarded as the 
habitation of a god. These sacred stones were termed 
beth-els, bcetyli as the Greeks wrote the word, and 
they form a distinguishing characteristic of Semitic 
faith. In later times many of them were imagined to 
have "come down from heaven." So deeply enrooted 
with this worship of stones in the Semitic nature, that 
even Mohammed, in spite of his iconoclastic zeal, was 
obliged to accommodate his creed to the worship of 


the Black Stone at Mekka, and the Kaaba is still one 
of the most venerated objects of the Mohammedan 

But the sacred stone was not only an object of 
worship or the consecrated altar of a deity, it might 
also take the place of a temple, and so be in very truth 
a beth-el, or "house of God." Thus at Medain Salih 
in North-western Arabia Mr. Doughty discovered 
three upright stones, which an inscription informed 
him were the mesged or "mosque" of the god Aera 
of Bozrah. In the great temple of Melkarth at Tyre 
Herodotus saw two columns, one of gold, the other of 
emerald, reminding us of the two pillars, Jachin and 
Boaz, which the Phoenician architect of Solomon 
erected in the porch of the temple at Jerusalem 
(i Kings vii. 21). Similar columns of stone have 
been found in the Phoenician temple, called that of 
the Giants, in Gozo, one of which is still standing in 
its place. 

While certain stones were thus regarded as the 
abode of deity, the high places whereon so many of 
them stood also received religious worship. The most 
prominent of the mountains of Syria were deified : 
Carmel became a Penu-el or "Face of God," Hermon 
was "the Holy One," and Mount Lebanon was a Baal. 
The rivers and springs also were adored as gods, and 
the fish which swam in them were accounted sacred. 
On the Phoenician coast was a river Kadisha, "the 
holy," and the Canaanite maiden saw in the red 
marl which the river Adonis brought down from 
the hills the blood of the slaughtered Sun-god 

The temple of Solomon, built as it was by Phoeni- 
cian architects and workmen, will give us an idea of 


what a Canaanitish temple was like. In its main out- 
lines it resembled a temple in Babylonia or Assyria. 
There, too, there was an outer court and an inner 
sanctuary, with its parakku or "mercy-seat," and its 
ark of stone or wood, in which an inscribed tablet of 
stone was kept. Like the temple of Jerusalem, the 
Babylonian temple looked from the outside much like 
a rectangular box, with its four walls rising up blank 
and unadorned, to the sky. Within the open court 
was a "sea," supported at times on oxen of bronze, 
where the priests and servants of the temple per- 
formed their ablutions and the sacred vessels were 

The Canaanitish altar was approached by steps, 
and was large enough for the sacrifice of an ox. 
Besides the sacrifices, offerings of corn and wine, of 
fruit and oil were also made to the gods. The sacri- 
fices and offerings were of two kinds, the zau'at or 
sin-offering, and the shelem or thank-offering. The 
sin-offering had to be given wholly to the god, and 
was accordingly termed kalil or "complete"; a part 
of the thank-offering, on the other hand, might be 
carried away by him who made it. Birds, moreover, 
might constitute a thank-offering; they were not 
allowed when the offering was made for sin. Such 
at least was the rule in the later days of Phoenician 
ritual, to which belong the sacrificial tariffs that have 
been preserved. 

In these sacrificial tariffs no mention is made of 
human sacrifices, and, as M. Clermont-Ganneau has 
pointed out, the ram takes in them the place of the 
man. But this was the result of the milder manners 
of an age when the Phoenicians had been brought 
into close contact with the Greeks. In the older days 


of Canaanitish history human sacrifice had held a 
foremost place in the ritual of Syria. It was the 
sacrifice of the first-born son that was demanded in 
times of danger and trouble, or when the family was 
called upon to make a special atonement for sin. The 
victim was offered as a burnt sacrifice, which in 
Hebrew idiom was euphemistically described as 
passing through the fire. 

Side by side with these human sacrifices were the 
abominations which were performed in the temples in 
honour of Ashtoreth. Women acted as prostitutes, 
and men who called themselves "dogs" forswore 
their manhood. It was these sensualities practised in 
the name of religion which caused the iniquity of the 
Canaanites to become full. 

It is pleasanter to turn to such fragments of Canaan- 
itish mythology and cosmological speculation as have 
come down to us. Unfortunately most of it belongs 
in its present form to the late days of Greek and 
Roman domination, when an attempt was made to 
fuse the disjointed legends of the various Phoenician 
states into a connected whole, and to present them to 
Greek readers under a philosophical guise. How 
much, therefore, of the strange cosmogony and history 
of the gods recorded by Philon of Gebal really goes 
back to the patriarchal epoch of Palestine, and how 
much of it is of later growth, it is now impossible 
to say. In the main, however, it is of ancient 

This is shown by the fact that a good deal of it has 
been borrowed directly or indirectly from Babylonia. 
How this could have happened has been explained by 
the Tel el-Amarna tablets. It was while Canaan was 
under the influence of Babylonian culture and Baby- 


Ionian government that the myths and traditions of 
Babylonia made their way to the West. Among the 
tablets are portions of Babylonian legends, one of 
which has been carefully annotated by the Egyptian 
or Canaanite scribe. It is the story of the queen of 
Hades, who had been asked by the gods to a feast 
they had made in the heavens. Unable or unwilling 
to ascend to it, the goddess sent her servant the 
plague-demon, but with the result that Nergal was 
commissioned to descend to Hades and destroy its 
mistress. The fourteen gates of the infernal world, 
each with its attendant warder, were opened before 
him, and at last he seized the queen by the hair, drag- 
ging her to the ground, and threatening to cut off her 
head. But Eris-kigal, the queen of Hades, made a 
successful appeal for mercy; she became the wife of 
Nergal, and he the lord of the tomb. 

Another legend was an endeavour to account for the 
origin of death. Adamu, we are told, the first man, 
who had been created by Ea, was fishing one day in 
the deep sea, when he broke the wings of the south 
wind. The south wind flew to complain to Anu in 
heaven, and Anu ordered the culprit to appear before 
him. But Adamu was instructed by Ea how to act. 
Clad in a garment of mourning, he won the hearts 
of the two guardians of the gate of heaven, the gods 
Tammuz and Gis-zida ("the firmly-fixed post"), so 
that they pleaded for him before Anu. Food and 
water were offered him, but he refused them for fear 
that they might be the food and water of death. Oil 
only for anointing and clothing did he accept. 
"Then Anu looked upon him and raised his voice in 
lamentation : ' O Adamu, wherefore atest thou not, 
wherefore didst thou not drink? The gift of life 


cannot now be thine.' " Though "a sinful man " had 
been permitted "to behold the innermost parts of 
heaven and earth," he had rejected the food and water 
of life, and death henceforth was the lot of man- 

It is curious that the commencement of this legend, 
the latter portion of which has been found at Tel el- 
Amarna, had been brought to the British Museum 
from the ruins of the library of Nineveh many years 
ago. But until the discovery of the conclusion, its 
meaning and character were indecipherable. The 
copy made for the library of Nineveh was a late edition 
of the text which had been carried from Babylonia to 
the banks of the Nile eight hundred years before, and 
the fact emphasizes once more the Babylonian char- 
acter of the culture and literature possessed by Pales- 
tine in the Patriarchal Age. 

We need not wonder, therefore, if it is to Babylonia 
that the cosmological legends and beliefs of Phoenicia 
plainly point. The watery chaos out of which the 
world was created, the divine hierarchies, one pair of 
deities proceeding from another and an older pair, or 
the victory of Kronos over the dragon Ophioneus, are 
among the indications of their Babylonian origin. 
But far more important than these echoes of Baby- 
lonian mythology in the legendary lore of Phoenicia 
is the close relationship that exists between the tradi- 
tions of Babylonia and the earlier chapters of Genesis. 
As is now well known, the Babylonian account of the 
Deluge agrees even in details with that which we find 
in the Bible, though the polytheism of Chaldaea is 
there replaced by an uncompromising monotheism, 
and there are little touches, like the substitution of an 
"ark" for the Babylonian "ship," which show that 


the narrative has been transported to Palestine. 
Equally Babylonian in origin is the history of the 
Tower of Babel, while two of the rivers of Eden are 
the Tigris and Euphrates, and Eden itself is the Edin 
or "Plain" of Babylonia. 

Not so long ago it was the fashion to declare that 
such coincidences between Babylonian and Hebrew 
literature could be due only to the long sojourn of the 
Jews in Babylonia during the twenty years of the 
Exile. But we now know that the traditions and 
legends of Babylonia were already known in Canaan 
before the Israelites had entered the Promised Land. 
It was not needful for the Hebrew writer to go to 
Chaldaea in order that he might learn them ; when 
Moses was born they were already current both in 
Palestine and on the banks of the Nile. The Baby- 
lonian colouring of the early chapters of Genesis is 
just what archaeology would teach us to expect it 
would have been had the Pentateuch been of the age 
to which it lays claim. 

Here and there, indeed, there are passages which 
must be of that age, and of none other. When in 
the tenth chapter of Genesis Canaan is made the 
brother of Cush and Mizraim, of Ethiopia and Egypt, 
we are carried back at once to the days when Palestine 
was an Egyptian province. The statement is appli- 
cable to no other age. Geographically Canaan lay 
outside the southern zone to which Egypt and 
Ethiopia belonged, except during the epoch of the 
eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, when all three 
were alike portions of a single empire. With the fall 
of that empire the statement ceased to be correct or 
even conceivable. After the era of the Israelitish con- 
quest Canaan and Egypt were separated one from the 


other, not to be again united save for a brief space 
towards the close of the Jewish monarchy. Palestine 
henceforth belonged to Asia, not to Africa, to the 
middle zone, that is to say, which was given over to 
the sons of Shem. 



When the first edition of this book was printed, in 
1895, excavation in Palestine was still in its infancy. 
The Palestine Exploration Fund had been the first to 
enter the field, and Prof. Flinders Petrie's excavations 
on the site of the ancient Lachish had enabled him to 
found the science of Palestinian archaeology. His 
brilliant sketch of the archaeological history of 
Canaan, based chiefly on the pottery he discovered, 
has been confirmed by subsequent research at nearly 
every point. 

Prof. Petrie's work at Lachish was followed by 
that of Dr. Bliss, and culminated in the discovery of 
the cuneiform tablet of which a translation is given 
on an earlier page. A combination of untoward acci- 
dents, however, made it impossible to continue the 
excavations at Lachish, and Dr. Bliss's subsequent 
work in tracing the walls of Jerusalem had to do with 
a period which lies far outside the limits of Patri- 
archal Palestine. But it was otherwise with the 
excavations carried on by the Fund in several of the 
smaller tels or ancient mounds in the south of Pales- 
tine — Tell Zakariya, Tell es-Safi, Tell Jedeida, and 
Tell Sandahanna — which resulted in throwing a good 
deal of light on the history of Canaanite pottery. 
Then came a very important piece of work, the almost 
exhaustive excavation of the ancient Gezer, which has 


occupied a good many years of hard work, and has 
been carried out with scientific thoroughness and 
insight by Prof. Stewart Macalister. Not only has 
the site of the city been explored, but the tombs as 
well, and a large part of what we now know about 
Patriarchal Canaan and its inhabitants is due to his 
persevering labours. 

Meanwhile other scientific Societies had been stirred 
into activity in Palestine. Dr. Sellin, on behalf of the 
Austrians, excavated first at Taanach and then at 
Jericho, and discovered at Taanach a number of 
cuneiform tablets which contain the correspondence of 
private Canaanite individuals. At Tell Mutesellim, 
where Megiddo once stood, Dr. Schumacher has 
excavated for a German Society, and an American 
expedition under Dr. Reisner is at present working at 
Samaria, where the remains of the palace of Ahab 
have been discovered, as well as the inscribed frag- 
ments of the wine-jars that were stored in its cellar. 
Samaria, however, belongs to the days of the Israelitish 
monarchy, not to the age that preceded the Exodus. 

The history of Canaan begins in the palaeolithic 
epoch. Palaeolithic implements are found on the 
surface of the plains and tell us of a time when Europe 
was still in the grip of the glacial age, and the geo- 
graphy of the Mediterranean was widely different 
from what it is to-day. When and how the palaeo- 
lithic epoch passed away is still a question ; ages later 
we find neolithic man, with his implements of polished 
stone, in the possession of the land and the enjoyment 
of a culture which must have needed many centuries 
for its development. 

The neolithic inhabitants of Palestine belonged to 
a race which was widely spread over the Mediter- 


ranean. They were of comparatively short stature, 
averaging about five feet six inches in height, and 
they were dolichocephalic or long-headed. They 
buried their dead after partial cremation in caves, and 
more than one of their burial places was discovered 
by Prof. Macalister at Gezer. Among the caves is a 
double one which seems to have been used for reli- 
gious purposes, certain so-called "cup-markings" on 
the rock being probably connected with the primitive 
worship of the time. 

The pottery of the neolithic people was rough and 
hand-made, but was often ornamented by burnished 
lines, moulded cord-patterns or streaks of reddish 
brown and white. As they used grindstones they 
must have been already acquainted with corn. They 
possessed, too, the most important domestic animals, 
the ox, the sheep, the goat and the swine, and certain 
objects which are probably spindle-whorls would 
indicate that they practised the art of weaving. 

This neolithic period was of long duration. There 
is no direct proof of this as yet in Palestine, but 
excavations at Carchemish on the Euphrates and at 
Sakje-gozu north of the Gulf of Antioch have shown 
that in Syria also there was a neolithic period coeval 
with that of Palestine, and there is evidence in both 
these places that it must have lasted for untold 

Over the primitive neolithic population swept, some- 
where about 3000 B.C., the tide of Semitic migration 
and conquest. A Semitic race, called Amorite by the 
Babylonians and apparently also by itself, made its 
way from the East to the Mediterranean, and there, 
in the lands of Syria and Palestine, became the domi- 
nant people. The Amorites, as we may call them, 


were of taller stature and stouter build than their 
predecessors, their skulls were somewhat rounder, and 
they did not burn their dead. Above all, they were 
acquainted with the use of metals, which they had 
learned from the Babylonians along with other 
elements of Babylonian culture, and they were con- 
sequently armed with weapons of hardened copper 
and, at a later date, of bronze. Against these weapons 
of copper and bronze the neolithic population con- 
tended in vain. Syria and Palestine were occupied 
by the new race, which intermarried and mixed with 
its predecessors and so produced the Canaan ites of 

Houses of stone and brick now took the place of 
wigwams, and the cities were surrounded with massive 
walls. The wall of Gezer was more than thirteen feet 
thick and correspondingly high and was provided 
with towers ; it lasted down to the age of the Egyptian 
conquest of Palestine, and from the mass of debris 
which accumulated about it, Prof. Macalister calcu- 
lates that it must have been built at least as early as 
2900 B.C. The walls of Megiddo were no less than 
twenty-six feet in thickness, independently of the 
glacis of beaten earth which protected their foot. The 
wall was made of large hammer-dressed blocks of 
stone, and that at Gezer was provided with two gates. 

Quite as remarkable as the city walls were the 
arrangements for providing the city with water in 
time of siege. At Gezer a tunnel of grandiose dimen- 
sions was hewn out of the solid rock until it reached 
an abundant spring of water ninety-four and a half 
feet below the original surface of the soil. The en- 
trance to the tunnel was twenty-three feet in height 
and thirteen feet broad, and steps were cut in the 


sloping rock down to the level of the water, while the 
roof was shaped into the form of a barrel vault. The 
work implies advanced engineering skill as well as 
the control of large resources. 

Prominent above all other buildings was the High 
Place. At Gezer this consisted of ten huge monoliths, 
of which eight are still standing in a paved court. 
The second seems to have been exceptionally sacred 
as parts of its surface have been worn and polished 
by the kisses of the worshippers, while the seventh 
has been transported from a distance, probably from 
the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. At Tel es-Safi there 
were three monoliths; at Megiddo only two, but here 
the construction of the sanctuary was more elaborate, 
and there was an altar south of the standing stones. 
The altar at Gezer appears to have been placed 
between the fifth and sixth stones. 

The High Place at Gezer was built over the double 
cavern of the neolithic population, thus carrying on 
the traditions of the ancient sanctity of the spot. The 
twofold cavern seems to have been closely connected 
with the plan of an Amorite sanctuary : at Megiddo 
its place was taken by an artificial cavern with vaulted 
roof, while the cave under the Dome of the Rock on 
the temple-hill of Jerusalem is well known. The soil 
beneath the sanctuary has been described as "a verit- 
able necropolis of infants." On all sides there were 
gruesome evidences of one of the dark features of 
Canaanite religion, the sacrifice of children. Their 
skeletons were found in numberless jars along with a 
lamp and bowl, and sometimes one or two other small 
vessels intended to contain the food and drink neces- 
sary for the support of the dead in their journey to 
the other world. Most of the children were newly 


born, and were buried on the east side of the line of 
monoliths; in a few cases, however, the age was more 
advanced, and interments were met with to the west of 
the altar. In one or two instances only were there 
traces of fire. Similar burials were discovered at 
Megiddo, fully bearing out the accusations brought 
against Canaanitish worship by the writers of the Old 
Testament. With the arrival of the Israelites human 
sacrifice disappeared. The jar with its lamp and bowl 
still remained, but it was filled with sand instead of 
the bones of children, as Prof. Petrie found at 
Lachish. It thus became a merely meaningless sur- 
vival of an old custom, testifying to an entire change 
in the religious conceptions of the people. 

Among the rubbish that had accumulated around 
the sanctuary of Gezer rt is interesting to note that 
a bronze serpent was discovered. There was a bronze 
serpent also in the temple of Jerusalem, it will be 
remembered, which we are told was destroyed by 
Hezekiah, as it had become an object of worship. 

The pottery of the neolithic age, as has been already 
said, was for the most part coarse and crude, some of 
it being ornamented with streaks of white, red or black 
on a yellow or red wash. The pottery of the Amorites 
was of a much finer character. That excavated at 
Gezer has enabled Prof. Macalister to divide the 
history of Amorite Canaan before the Israelite in- 
vasion into two periods, which he terms the First 
and Second Amorite, the second period beginning, 
perhaps, about 2100 B.C. In the first period foreign 
influence is hardly discernible, at all events so far as 
the pottery is concerned; but the potter's wheel, 
worked by the hand, had been introduced ; the forms 
of the vessels were varied and elegant, and the vases 


were ornamented not only with mouldings, but also 
with horizontal bands of red, black and grey. Unlike 
the pottery of Egypt or Babylonia, the jugs of Canaan 
were at all periods provided with loop handles, thus 
resembling the vases of Krete and Cyprus, Greece 
and Asia Minor. In the use of the red colour of some 
of the Amorite pottery, indeed, Prof. Myres would 
recognize the influence of the Hittites, with whom, 
to the north of the Halys, he believes the employment 
of the red pigment originated. Terra-cotta figures of 
the goddess Ashtoreth with the hands on the breasts 
occur from time to time. 

The spindles and weavers' weights show that there 
must have been a good deal of cloth-making. Buttons 
were employed for fastening the garments on the 
body; it was not till later that the fibula or brooch 
became common. Pins of bone, and afterwards of 
bronze, were in much request; so too were needles. 
Bracelets, anklets, finger-rings and ear-rings of the 
precious metals were largely used, and Egypt supplied 
scarabs and amulets for the further adornment of the 
person, many of which go back to the time of the 
twelfth dynasty (2500 B.C.). 

Beads were numerous, especially small disks of 
carnelian, but green and yellow glazed beads of 
Egyptian "porcelain" were also imported from the 
Nile. The bronze spear and dagger were known, as 
well as the bronze arrow-head, though arrow-heads 
of flint were employed by the side of it. But the old 
stone mace was still a favourite weapon. 

Corn was reaped with sickles fitted with sharp 
flints, and was pounded in a quern ; the cakes of bread, 
after being baked, were carried on terra-cotter trays. 
Oil was extracted from the olive in presses, and barley 


and oats were used for food as well as wheat. Figs, 
grapes and pomegranates were cultivated, and the 
grape was made into wine. The donkey was the 
ordinary beast of burden ; the camel, however, occa- 
sionally made its way from the Arabian desert into 
the fields of Canaan. The skeleton of a dog was 
found with that of his master in one of the burial 

With what Prof. Macalister calls the second 
Semitic period we enter upon an epoch of active com- 
mercial intercourse between Canaan and its neigh- 
bours, and a corresponding development of luxury 
in the daily life of its villagers. The Hyksos dynasties 
were now ruling Egypt ; their kings were of Canaanite 
origin, and the centre of their power was in Asia 
rather than in Egypt. Hitherto it had been Egypt 
which had been the mistress of Canaan when the latter 
country was under Egyptian control ; now, on the 
contrary, it was Canaan that was the mistress of 
Egypt. For five hundred years (2 100-1600 B.C.) the 
Hyksos Pharaohs ruled in the valley of the Nile, and 
the monuments of one of them who bears the Canaan- 
ite name of Khayan have been found in Babylonia on 
the one side and in Krete on the other. As might 
have been expected, numerous scarabs of the Hyksos 
period have been disinterred in Canaan. 

The Hyksos invasion of Egypt was part of a general 
movement on the part of the Amorite or West-Semitic 
tribes, one result of which was the conquest of 
Northern Babylonia and the establishment of an 
Amorite dynasty at Babylon (2225-1926 B.C.). The 
most famous of the kings of this dynasty was Kham- 
murabi or Amraphel, whose date has now been deter- 
mined astronomically by Dr. Kugler (2123-2081 B.C.). 


After shaking off the Elamite supremacy and uniting 
northern and southern Babylonia, he re-established 
the old empire of Sargon of Akkad and extended his 
rule from Susa in the mountains of Elam in the east 
to the shores of the Mediterranean in the west. 
Towards the end of his reign the great code of laws 
was compiled, a copy of which was discovered by 
M. de Morgan in the ruins of Susa. The code was 
obeyed in all parts of his dominions — in Elam and 
Canaan as well as in Babylonia. It is interesting, 
therefore, to find instances of conformity with its 
regulations in the history of the Hebrew patriarchs, 
where they differed from the regulations afterwards in 
force under the Mosaic law. Thus adoption which 
was practically unknown under the latter code, but 
was a fundamental fact in Babylonian social life, is 
illustrated by the adoption of Eliezer of Damascus by 
the childless Abraham. In agreement with the Baby- 
lonian code the adopted son, who had been a slave, 
received his freedom and became the heir to the 
property of his adopted father. So, again, in the 
history of Hagar and Ishmael the Babylonian law is 
observed which allowed the childless wife to present 
her husband with a concubine, but laid down that if 
the concubine had had a child and a dispute arose 
between her and the wife, the concubine could not be 
reduced to slavery again, nor the child deprived of his 
lawful inheritance. The concubine could be sold only 
if "she had not borne children." 

The Babylonian occupation of Syria and Canaan 
had already begun in the time of the dynasty of Ur 
(2500 B.C.). Babylonian soldiers, officials and mer- 
chants made their way to the West, while conversely 
"Amorites" settled in the Babylonian cities, more 


especially in Ur. Along with other elements of Baby- 
lonian culture, which was essentially literary, the art 
of writing was necessarily carried to the west. The 
script of Palestine became the cuneiform script of 
Babylonia, and its literary language that of the Baby- 
lonians. A curious memorial of it has been found in 
the Lebanon in the shape of a notice sent by the 
Babylonian government to its officers in Syria telling 
them the name under which the seventh year of 
Samsu-iluna, the son and successor of Khammurabi, 
was to be officially known. An earlier memorial is 
in the museum of the Louvre, consisting of part of a 
cadastral survey drawn up by Urimelech, the governor 
of Syria and Palestine, for the purposes of taxation in 
the time of the dynasty of Ur. 

In the south of Palestine, however, Egyptian in- 
fluence seems to have been stronger than Babylonian. 
At all events this was the case at Gezer, where 
Egyptians of the age of the twelfth dynasty actually 
settled and were buried. Egyptian pottery, beads, 
amulets and the like were freely imported into the 
country, and along with the trade with Egypt went 
a trade also with Krete, Cyprus and Asia Minor. 
Some of the pottery shows traces of relationship to 
the pottery found on the site of an Assyrian settlement 
in Cappadocia of the age of the dynasty of Ur. Prof. 
Macalister describes the Gezer pottery of the "Second 
Semitic period" as "well-refined and good," as repre- 
senting the "best and most graceful" forms, and as 
having been made on the potter's wheel worked by 
the foot. A considerable proportion of the pottery 
was elaborately painted, though moulding had not 
gone out of fashion; among the patterns are spirited 
representations of birds, fish and animals, the outlines 
traced with a firm, bold hand and filled in with masses 


of colour. Similar patterns and animal designs are 
found painted in the same colours 'on the early pottery 
of Asia Minor, and it was from Asia Minor that the 
bronze of Palestine and Assyria was derived. The 
Canaanite lamp, which is a small dish the side of 
which has been pinched up in one place, first makes 
its appearance in the "Second Semitic period." 

Gold and silver objects are, of course, not often met 
with by the excavator; it is more usually the objects 
that were considered worthless in the past which have 
been left to him. Sufficient jewellery, however, has 
been discovered to illustrate the descriptions of Canaan- 
ite wealth contained in the Egyptian inscriptions and 
to indicate the luxury that prevailed even in a small 
provincial town. At Taanach Dr. Sellin discovered 
gold and silver ornaments on the body of a woman 
in a deserted house which, as he remarks, are of them- 
selves enough to remove "all grounds for doubting 
such accounts as those in Joshua (vii. 21), and Judges 
(viii. 26)" ; and the numerous objects of Egyptian 
fayence met with at Gezer make it plain that the 
products of the foreign jeweller's art had a ready sale. 

At Taanach Dr. Sellin was so fortunate as to find 
the archive chamber of the governor's house, together 
with some of the cuneiform tablets which had once 
lain in the archive chest. Some of them were private 
letters from one Canaanite sheikh to another, and they 
may be dated about fifty years after the close of the 
Tel el-Amarna correspondence. They show, on the 
one hand, how general must have been a knowledge 
of reading and writing, and that, too, in the com- 
plicated and difficult cuneiform script; and on the 
other hand, that the script used in Palestine was not 
yet the Phoenician alphabet, but the cuneiform sylla- 
bary, while the literary language was Babylonian. 
Q 2 


When the inhabitants of a petty Canaanite town could 
thus correspond with one another on private and 
trivial matters, we may conclude that the schools must 
have been numerous and well equipped. Several styli 
for writing upon clay were found by Prof. Macalister 
at Gezer. 

One of the letters is as follows: "To Istar-yisur 
thus says Guli-Hadad. Live happily ! May the gods 
grant health to thyself, your house and your sons ! 
You have written to me about the money . . , and 
behold, I will give 50 pieces of silver, since this has 
not yet been done. — Again : Why have you sent your 
salutation here afresh ? All you have heard there I 
have (already) learned through Bel-ram. — Again : 
If the finger of the goddess Asherah point, let them 
announce the omen and follow it, and you shall 
describe to me both the sign and the event. As to your 
daughter, we know the one, Salmisa, who is in the city 
of Rabbah, and if she grows up, you must give her to 
be the prince's (wife) ; she is in truth fit for a lord." 

Another letter was addressed to Istar-yisur: "To 
Istar-yisur thus says Akhi-yami. May the lord of the 
gods protect your life, for you are (my) brother, and 
love is in your bowels and in your heart. When I 
was in Gurra in prison a workman gave me 2 swords, 1 
a lance and 2 bowls for nothing ; when the lance which 
he has made is finished I will send it through Bur- 
idwa. — Again : look after your towns, for they (i. e. 
the enemy) have done their deed against me, every 
one who has done it against the towns; look now if 
the enemy has acted well towards you. — Again :If he 
shows anger, . . him and there will be a great victory. 
— Again : Let Ilu-rabi enter Rehob and either send 
my man to you or else protect him." 

1 Magari, the mecMrdth of Genesis xlix. 5. 


Another letter, the end of which is broken, begins 
thus: "To Istar-yisur thus says Aman-khasir. May 
[Hadad] protect your life ! You shall send me another 
quantity of oil in a flask (?). — Again : Your militia l 
are not among the garrison, nor do you yourself come 
now to me. At all events send your brother. — Again : 
I am in Gaza and you do not come to me. Behold I 
am [marching] against the enemy while you remain 
in your city." 

Another letter from the same correspondent is more 
complete : " To Istar-yisur thus says Aman-khasir : 
May Hadad protect your life ! Send your brothers 
along with their carriages, and send your tribute of 
a horse as well as presents and all the prisoners who 
are with you : send them to-morrow to Megiddo." 

Besides the letters the archive-chamber contained 
lists of the militia each of the leading citizens was 
required to provide, together with other documents of 
an official character. At Gezer also Prof. Macalister 
found cuneiform tablets, but they belong to a later 
period of history, after the fall of Samaria, when Pales- 
tine was under Assyrian control. At Jericho, however, 
a number of clay tablets were discovered by Dr. Sellin 
on the flat roof of a house adjoining the old Canaanite 
wall, where they had been laid out to dry. They were 
as yet uninscribed; the capture of the city by the 
Israelites, which must have taken place just after they 
had been made, will have interrupted the correspond- 
ence for which they were intended. It may even be 
that they had been destined to be letters summoning 
help from the surrounding cities of Canaan against 
the Israelitish invader. 

1 Khanak& y the khanichim or " trained troops " of Abram, Gen- 
esis xiv. 14. 



Thanks to the cuneiform inscriptions a flood of 
light has recently been thrown upon the early history 
of the Amorites. It was the name by which the West- 
Semitic tribes of Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine 
were known to the Babylonians in the age of Abra- 
ham, and it would seem to have been also the name 
by which they called themselves. The Amorite 
dialects belonged to that branch of the Semitic family 
of speech of which Phoenician and Hebrew — "the 
language of Canaan," as Isaiah calls it — are the best- 
known representatives. 

Mention of "the king of the Amorites" appears 
from time to time in Babylonian literature of the 
Abrahamic age. His chief seat seems to have been 
Harran, and while the Babylonian empire lasted he 
acknowledged the supremacy of the Babylonian 
monarch. It was from Harran probably that the 
founder of the Amorite dynasty at Babylon came, to 
which Khammu-rabi or Amraphel belonged. Amor- 
ites had long been settled in the Babylonian cities, 
largely for the purposes of trade, and their names are 
frequently met with in the commercial and legal 
documents of the Patriarchal period. The names are 
those which characterize that period in the Old Testa- 
ment — Abram (Abaramu), Jacob (Ya'qubu), Joseph 
(Yasupu), etc. Ur, which had been the home of a 


powerful dynasty and was built on the West-Semitic 
side of the Euphrates, would naturally have been 
specially frequented by the Amorite settlers in Baby- 
lonia ; hence it is not astonishing that, as at Ur, so 
too in Harran, the great temple of the city was dedi- 
cated to the Moon-god. Since the grandfather of 
Abraham is said to have been the son of Serug, his 
family would have migrated from Serug (Sarugi in 
the inscriptions), which was in the neighbourhood of 
Harran and is referred to in the tablets that deal with 
trade. Abraham's father and grandfather had Meso- 
potamian names which recur in the cuneiform texts. 
Some of the Amorite names are compounded with that 
of the god Yahu, the Yahveh of the Old Testament. 
It would seem, indeed, that Yahu was the supreme 
deity of the Amorite population, since we are told by 
the Babylonian scribes that the name was equivalent 
to ilu "the God." 

After the fall of the Amorite dynasty in Babylonia, 
which traced its origin to Samu or Shem, the Amorite 
kingdom became independent (1926 B.C.). Its chief 
enemies were now the Hittites of Asia Minor, who had 
already made themselves formidable to the Babylonian 
empire. Independent principalities grew up within what 
had once been the kingdom of "the king of the Amor- 
ites," though he still continued toexercise his authority 
over a large part of the country west of the Euphrates. 
When the Pharaohs of the eighteenth dynasty made 
Palestine and Syria Egyptian provinces, the name of 
"Amorite" was restricted to the mountaineers of 
Canaan, and more especially to the district immediately 
to the north of the later Palestine. Here was the seat of 
Amorite power in the age of the Tel el-Amarna tablets, 
and here the final scene was played out between the 


two rivals for the possession of Syria, Egypt and the 
Hittites. While the Tel el-Amarna letters have given 
us the Egyptian version of the story, the cuneiform 
tablets found at Boghaz Keui, the Hittite capital in 
Cappadocia, have given us the Hittite version. For 
some time the Amorite kings, Ebed-Asherah and his 
successor Aziru, endeavoured to keep on good terms 
with both parties, and to represent themselves as the 
faithful servants of both the Egyptian and the Hittite 
governments; but eventually the Hittites prevailed; 
the Egyptian governors were driven from Syria, and 
Aziru became the vassal of the Hittite monarch, with 
an annual tribute of 300 shekels of gold. His great- 
grandson was married to a Hittite princess, and an 
agreement was made between him and his suzerain 
that the succession to the Amorite throne should be 
confined to her descendants. It was one of these, less 
than a century later, who would have been the Sihon 
of the Old Testament. 


A (Deity), 221 
Abel (place), 132 
Abel-mizraim, 173 
Abiliya, 109 

Abimelech, 107, 109, no 
Abram (in Babylonian), 146 
Achshaph or Ekdippa, 182, 188, 

Acre (Akku), 116, 133, 134, 136, 

197, 203 
Adai, 123 
Adamim, 189, 197 
Adamu, 229 
Addar, 132 
Adon, 114 
Adoni-zedek, 65 
Adullam, 182, 191 
Ahmes I., 76, 81 
Aia, 178 
Ajalon, 119, 123 
Akizzi, 115 
Akkad, 47 

Alasiya, 73, 92, 136, 192 
'Aluna or 'Arna, 84, 196 
Amalekites 23, 30, 34, 35, 45 
Amanus, 53, 93 
Amber, 73, 209 
Amenophis II., 91, 95 
Amenophis III., 96, 97, 117 
Amenophis IV., or Khu-n-Aten, 

62, 74, 97 et seq. 
Ammi, 19, 54 
Ammi-anshi, 177 
Ammi-ditana, 54 
Ammiya, 113 
Ammon, 19, 54, 55 

Ammunira, 107 

Amon-apt, 131 

Amorites, 25, 30, 31, 33, 35, 37, 40 

et seq., 48, 49, 53, 57, 95, 107 

et seq., 154, 236, 240, 246-8 
Amorites, god of, 222 
Amraphel, 55, 57, 240 
Anab, 190 
Anaharath, 197 
Anakim, 31, 32 
Anat, 71, 200, 221 
Anu, 71, 144, 221 
Anugas or Nukhasse, 85, 89, 92 
Aqabih, Gulf of, 94 
Aram-Naharaim (Mitanni), 74 

81, 89, 96, 114 
Ararat, 39 
Argob, 20 
Ariel, 183 

Arioch (see Eri-Aku), 55 
Arka, 22, 45, no 
Arvad, 45, 86, 113 
Arzaya, 123 
Asher, 188 
Asherah, 220 
Ashiti-Khaur, 225 
Ashkelon, 122, 130, 203 
Ashtaroth-Karnaim, 30, 31, 115, 

132, 139, 196 
Ashtoreth, 144, 218 et seq. 
Assyria, 86, 134 
Aten-Ra, 98 
Aupa {see Ube), 114 
Avim, 46 
Ayab, 132 
Aziru, 107 et seq. 248 




Baal, 218 

Baalbek, 21 

Babylon, 53, 88, 90 

Babylonia, 76, 217 

Babylonians, 76 

Balaam, 19, 133 

Bashan, 20, 30, 31, 32, 82, 115 

Bedad, 222 

Beduin, 23, 45, 82, 108, 109, 181 

Beer-sheba, 155, 157 

Bek'a, 21 

Bene-berak, 117 

Beth-anath, 138, 200, 203 

Beth-el, 132, 146, 169, 183, 191, 

Bethels, 225 et seq. 
Beth-lehem, 71, 224 
Beth-On, 165 
Beth-Sannah, 124 
Beth-Ya, 200 
Beya or Baya, 1 30 
Bey rout, 22, 142, 178, 181, 187 
Bin-sumya, 118 
Biridaswa, 115 
Biridi, 117 
Bliss, Mr., 73, 104 
Bosra, 115 

Burna-buryas, 96, \$3 et seq. 
Buzruna, 115 

Camel, 147 
Cana, 191 

Canaan, 34 et seq., 135 ; art of, 
209 et seq.; merchants in, 210 
Canaanite words, 211 
Canaanites, 35, 91 
Carchemish, 37, 38, 53, 86, 96, 

Carmel of Judah, 62, 136, 203 
Carmel, Mount, 25, 197, 203 
Chedor-laomer, 30, 59, 144 
Chimham, 136, 203 
Chinneroth, 197 
Chiun, 223 
Circumcision, 152 
Code of Laws, 241 
Copper, 209 

Creation legends, 230 

Cush, 79, 129, 231 

Cyprus, 48, 51, 73, 89, 136, 138 

Dagon, 71, 144, 224 
Damascus, 20, 55, 85, 115, 151, 

Dapul, 138, 182, 203 
Davis, Mr. T. ML, 97 
Dead Sea, 153 
Debir, 69, 205 
Deluge story, 230 
Dor, 22 
Dothan, 196 
Doughty, Mr., 226 


Ebed-Asherah, 107 et seq., 248 

Ebed-Kheba, 43, 62, 68, 104, 116 

et seq. 
Ebed-Sullim, 112 
Edom, town of, 132 ; god, 198, 

Edomites, 33, 93 
Elam, 48, 55, 127 
Elephants, 88 
Eliezer, 151, 241 
Elimelech, 121, 127 
El-rabi-Hor, 113 
Emim, 30, 31, 32 
En-athon, 117, 132 
En-gedi, 34 
En-han-nabi, 214 
Eri-Aku (Arioch), 53, 55 et seq. 
Eta-gama (or Aidhu-gama), 112, 

Fenkhu, 90, 195 

Galeed, 166 

Gath, 198, 199 

Gath- Carmel, 120, 124, 200 

Gath-Rimmon, 117 

Gaza, 83, 95, 124, 141, 156, 195, 

Gaza or Khazi, 116, 245 
Gebal, 37, 107 et seq., 131, 187 



Gebel Usdum, 153 

Gerar, 155 

Gezer, 122, 130, 236, 237, 245 

Gibeah, 200 

Gilu-khipa, 96 

Girgashites, 44 

Goshen, 173 

Gudea, 52 

Hadad, 222 

Hadad-dan, 130 

Hadad-Rimmon, 222 

Hadad-sum, 216 

Hadashah, 64, 205, 207 

Hamath, 36, 45, 189 

Harankal, 85 

Har-el, 67, 199 

Harran, 64, 143, 224, 246 

Havilah, 53 

Hazezon-tamar, 34, 43, 154 

Hazor, 112, 182, 189 

Heber, 127 

Hebrew words in tablets, 213 

Hebron, 31, 32, 80, 126, 148, 160 

et seq., 200 
Hekdl, etymology of, 64, 215 
Hekalitn, 199 
Helkath, 200 
Hermon, 16, 24, 206, 226 
Herodotus, 36 
High Places, 237 
Hittites, 35, 37 et seq., 88 et seq., 

104, 109, 128, 137, 160, 180 
Hivites, 44 
Horites, 30, 33 
Horus, 216 
Hui, 135 
Hyksos, 79, 80, 146, 171, 240 

Ibleam, 197 

I hem or I ha {see Yahem), 83 

Inuam, 85, 115, 136, 203 

Ir-shemesh, 138 

Iron, 192 

Isaiah, 62, 212 

Istar (Ashtoreth) 144, 219 

Ituraea, 20 

j Jachin and Boaz, 226 
! Jacob-el, 138, 167, 200 
! Jebusites, 36, 43 
! Jehovah-jireh, 1 59 

Jephthah-Hadad, 106, 120 

Jericho, excavations in, 234, 245 

Jerusalem {see Salem), 26, 43, 63, 
66 etseq., 122 et seq., 150, 204 ; 
etymology of name, 63 

Joppa, 130, 131, 184 

Jordan, 18 

Joseph, 171 et seq. 

Joseph-el, 199 

Kadesh on the Orontes, 37, 83, 

86, 136, 141, 181, 187 
Kadesh-barnea, 29, 23, 50, 55, 155 
Kadmonites, 177 
! Kaft, 72, 74 
! Kassites, 76, 123, 129 
Kedesh (goddess), 221 
Keilah, 62, 124, 125 
Kenites, 193 

Khabiri, 43, 106, 120, 124 et seq. 
Khalunni, 115 

Khammurabi, 53, 57, 60, 240 
Khani, 108 
Khata, 37 
Khatu-sil, 137 
Khatip (Hotep), 108 
Khayapa, no 
Khu-n-Aten (Amenophis IV.), 62, 

98 et seq. 
Kiriathaim, 30, 33 
Kirjath-Sepher, 70, 139, 190, 191 
Kishion, 197 
Kudur-Lagamar (Chedor-lao- 

mer), 56 
Kudur-Mabug, 56 
Kumidi (or Kamdu), 109, 116, 

136, 142, 187, 195, 203 
Kuri-galzu, 134 

Labai, 116 et seq., 122, 126 
Lachish, 73, 104, 120, 122 
Lagamar, 59 
Laish, 22, 197 



Lakhmu, 71, 224 
Lamp, Canaanite, 243 
Larsa (Ellasar), 53, 56, 59 
Lebanon, 24, 52, 87 
Levi, 140 
Levi-el, 142 
Lot, 55 

Lotan (Lutennu), 82, 129, 135, 

Macalister, Prof., 234, 235, 244 
Ma'arath, 187, 200 
Machpelah, 160 
Mafkat (Sinai), 49, 94 
Magan (Sinai), 49 
Magoras, 141, 1K7, 205 
Malchiel, 117 et seq., 131 
Manahath, 130 
Max Miiller, Dr. W., 139, 178, 

Megiddo, 26, 83 et seq., 183, 234 
Melchizedek, 61 et seq., 149 
Melkarth, 223 
Meneptah, 95, 139, 140 
Merom, 138, 196 
Migdol, 134 
Misheal, 197 
Misi, 82 
Mitanni (Aram-Naharaim), 74, 

77,93,96, 108, 129 
Miya-Riya (Meri-Ra), 124 
Mizraim, 36 

Moab, 19, 138, 155, 204 
Mohar, Travels of a, 70, 176 et 

Moloch, 71, 223 
Moriah, 66, 158 et seq., 199 
Musikhuna, 130 
Mut-Hadad, 132 
Myres, Prof., 239 

Na'amah, 199 
Namya-waza, 112, 115, 116 
Naram-Sin, 48, 51, 144 
Nebo, 71, 222 
Negeb, 23 
Neolithic age, 234 

Ni, 87, 91, 108, 114 
Nimrod, 79 
Nin-ip, 68, 125, 221 
Nukhasse (Anugas), 85, 89, 92, 
100, 108 

On, 21, 79, 165 

Pa-Hor, 109 

Pakhanate, 11 1 

Pa-ur, 123, 124 

Palaeolithic age, 234 

Pel la, 136, 196 

Penuel, or Peniel, 167, 226 

Perizzites, 17, 44, 193 

Pethor, 19 

Petrie, Prof., 41, 97, 167 

Petrie, excavations of, 233 

Philistines, 14, 141, 156 

Phoenicia, 22, 77, 90, 187 

Phoenician alphabet, 217 

Phoenicians, 195, 206 

Pinches, Dr., 167 

Pottery, Canaanite, 235, 238 

Pu-Hadad, 130 

Purple-dye, 72 

Qana or Qina, 84 
Qatna, 92, 114 

Ra, 79 

Rabbah, 67, 124, 125, 244 

Ramses II., 18, 38, 64, 70, 136 et 

seq., 139, 201 
Ramses III., 18, 64, 94, 140 et 

seq., 202, 205 
Raphia, 192 
Raphon, 31, 196 
Rehob, 191, 244 
Rehoboth, 163, 192 
Reisner, Dr., 234 
Rephaim, 30, 31, 32, 41, 196 
Resheph, 18, 198, 204 
Rethpana, Lake of, 18, 142, 204 
Rianap, 130 

Rib-Hadad, 77, 106 et seq. 
Rimmon, 222 



Rimmon-nirari, 101 
Rowlands, Dr., 33, 155 

Sacrifice of the firstborn, 228, 237 

Sacrifices, 227 

Salem or Shalem (Jerusalem), 

61, 64, 142, 203, 204 
Salim (god) 61, 63, 150 
Samaria, excavations in, 234 
Sangar (see Singara), 58, 88 
Saratum or Zurata, 1 33 
Sarepta, 182 
Sardinians, 82, 109 
Sargon of Akkad, 42, 47, 144, 

Scheil, Dr., 104 
Schumacher, Dr., 139, 234 
Seal-cylinders, 217 
Seir, 33,45.94, 120 
Sela, 38 

Sellin, Dr., 234, 243 
Serpent, bronze, 238 
Serug, 247 
Set, 216 

Seti I., 35, 135, 203 
Seti or Suta, 116, 119 
Shalem or Salem, 168 
Shasu (see Beduin), 34, 35 
Shechem, 25, 26, 41, 124, 139, 

146, 182, 189 
Shem, 247 
Shenir, 25, 50, 206 
Shiloh, 26 
Shimron, 196 
Shimron-meron, 189 
Shinab, 61 
Shinar, 58 
Ships, 212 
Shunem, 117, 197 
Sibti-Hadad, 131 
Siddim, 30, 61, 153 
Sidon, 36, 109, 112, 182, 216 
Sihon, 42, 43 
Sin (city), 45 
Sin (god), 143,223 
Sinai, 49, 50, 94, 138, 143, 223 
Singara (see Sangar), 93 

Sinuhit, 177 et seq. 
Sirah, 200 
Sirion, 24 
Sitti or Sati, 34 
Socho, 138, 198, 203 
Sodom, 55, 147, 204 
Sonzar, 114 
Stone of Job, 139 
Subari, 75 
Subsalla, 53 
Sum-Adda, 133 
Sumer, 47, 58 
Sutarna, 96, 130 
Sutatna or Zid-athon, 133 
Sutekh, 79 
Sute, 34, 82, 109 

Su-yardata or Su-ardatum, 1 1 8, 

Taanach, 84, 130, 197, 234, 243 

Tagi, 118, 124, 126 

Takhis, 87, 95, 182, 189 

Tamar (Tumur), 130 

Tammuz, 229 

Tanit, 225 

Tapun, 200 

Tarqu, 191 

Teie, 96, 104 

Tel el-Amarna, 100 et seq. 

Tel-loh, 52 

Temple, 226 

Thahash (see Takhis) 

Thothmes II., 81, 87 

Thothmes III., 31, 37, 45, 58, 67, 

72, 81 et seq. 
Thothmes IV., 95 
Tibhath, 187, 195 
Tidal, 55, 60 
Tidanum, 50, 53 
Timnah, 190 
Tin, 209 
Tithes, 151 

Tomkins, Mr., 31, 196 
Trumbull, Dr., 33, 155 
Tunanat, 114 
Tunip, 86, 90, 95 et seq 
Tut-ankh-Amon, 135 



Tyre, 36, 73, 107, no, in, 
140, 188, 203, 210, 226 

Ubeor Ubi, 114, 186 
Ugarit, 91, 203 
Ur, 56, 143, 246 
Ur, dynasty of, 241 
Urimelech, 242 
Uru, 36, 63, 215 
Usu, ill, 182 188, 203 

Yabitiri, 130 
Yabni-el, 106 
Yahem {see Ihem), 198 
Yahu (Yahveh), 247 
Yamutbal, 59 
Yankhamu, 131 
Yapa-Hadad, 1 10 
Yapakhi, 1 16 
Yasdata, 117 
Yerzeh, 130, 138, 198 


Yidya, 130 

Yikhen-Khamu, 124, 126 
Yisyara, 105 

Zahi, 72, 89 

Zakkal, 141 

Zamzummim, 31, 33 

Zedek, 65 

Zelah, 120, 200 

Zelem, 223 

Zemar, 22, 45, 86, 109 et seq., 131 

Zephath, 200 

Zimrida or Zimridi, 105, 106, 110 

et seq. 
Zinzar, 114 
Zion, 170 
Zippor, 140 
Zoan, 80, 146 
Zorah, 119 

Zurata or Saratum, 117 
Zuzim, 30 


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